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Old 10-10-2021, 07:07   #61
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

Another option is to have a boatyard conduct an independent survey in addition to the marine survey, which is what I did on a 1984 Spindrift Sundeck purchase. Have an engine survey performed, in addition, which is what I did on my 1984 Symbol Sundeck purchase. At the very least...........have rigging, electrical, electronics and engine surveys on sailboats after purchase when the pre-purchase inspections and sea trials confim they are reliable and functional, which is also what I did for my last two sailboats. Surveys are far less expensive than the repairs.
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Old 10-10-2021, 15:17   #62
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Hi John,

I'm going to take a run at this from a different direction.

As I write I am on a cat that just sold at anchor mid-delivery. I'm a very active delivery skipper and see a lot of surveys. They are uniformly poor. Sorry if that offends some of the surveyors I know are on CF. I've read hundreds of surveys and then sailed the boats. I've driven on dozens of sea trials and seen the shortfalls. I've rescued deals to the satisfaction of boat seller and buyer because the surveyor doesn't know what s/he is looking at. I have two pages of notes from the survey on this boat of shortfalls; problems not with the boat but with the survey - before I even stepped on the boat.

So I understand and support your motivation whether you are going to be able to achieve your goal or not.

Almost without exception, review of electronics in surveys are useless. No firmware dates, no chart provenance, no location of a/p fluxgate, superficial testing of a/p at sea trial. Certainly no SWR test for the VHF. Forget anything on HF/SSB or satellite or WiFi or cell booster. There are huge implications here. On the boat upon which I sit, there are four instruments that show battery voltage. The numbers reported are wildly different (2V from lowest to highest). Three of the four at the nav station. Not a peep in the survey. Still tracking that down. Autopilot never calibrated. Report says no AIS. Targets all around right there on the chartplotter. Marinetraffic reports transmission. If I never see "powers up and appears to work" again it will be too soon.

Electrical is almost as bad. Missed systems. Systems reported as good that don't work. On this boat, report says no inverter. Here I sit at anchor with my laptop plugged in typing. Inverter in starboard engine room big as life. How do you miss a big teal and gray box? Refrigeration reported as working. We are struggling to get down below 45F with two bags of ice in there. Surveyor probably just flipped on the breaker, listened for the compressor, and put his hand on the evaporator and called it a day. Useless. Did not test the aircon or the watermaker. Aircon doesn't cool or heat well and watermaker is inop. Can't even bother to plug a polarity tester into outlets. On this boat the survey reported the cooker as inop. The surveyor didn't read the label on the Xintex propane fume detector to understand how to turn it on.

How often do you see a surveyor with any tool in his/her hand except a mallet for hull sounding? "No disassembly." Bah! You can't unscrew an inspection plate? Peek into a tank? Four screws to take a cosmetic cover off inside a locker to actually look at something?

Surveyors who can't sail. Don't even know enough--rigging survey or not--to use binoculars to view the deadend of the main halyard?

American surveyors focused on ABYC surveying a CE boat? Forget it. Surveyor fails. Get an EU boat that's built to CE and been in the US for a few years? Forget it. Got a blue button the surveyors expects to be red or yellow? Ha!

The examples from this boat are just examples. I see the same shortfalls over and over again. Hundreds of times. The comments in this thread to "just get a good survey" make me laugh. Hard. I would get a survey myself but my expectations would be very low.

So I get your motivation John. I'm with you. I don't think you'll get an extended sea trial but I sure see the merits. IANAL. My thought, offered with respect, is a big(ish) escrow account for shortfalls that are not as presented in the listing for the boat.

Thank you very much for your detailed response, i really appreciate your post!

I totally agree with what you are saying, as this is the main reason why i do not want to trust solely by the surveys findings. I do understand that skipping a survey is not an option when investing that amount of money.

However, i might buy a boat in an area where i will not have much choice of choosing a reputable surveyor. I might not know the relation between that person and the seller/brooker that offers the boat.

One example: I just spotted a Lagoon 39 from DYC on Madagascar. Well, I have never been there and i have no idea about the situation of surveyors and charter companies there...
My initial post is about hidden defects/problems and issues a boat might have, the seller brooker might know (and may hide it), or might not know...


Anyway... I do get the point most of you guys are saying and i really do appreciate you all taking your time to share your personal knowledge and experience on that matter! Even though most of you seem my approach far from beeing possible...

Thanks again for taking your time!

John
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Old 11-10-2021, 00:18   #63
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
But expecting a 1-day survey to flag these types of issues is a tall order. Should a survey run a watermaker and test flow?
Yes. "Test flow" includes TDS.

What is a one day survey? I see surveyors show up at 1030 and gone by 1500. Show up at 0830 and gone by 1200. I know there are good dedicated surveyors out there that put in a full days work and DO test everything (well, except electronics--always a shortfall) but they are the exception rather than the rule.

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I do a lot of quality control work...I always joke with the guys who do the work how much easier to pick apart someone else's work than doing it yourself.

A proper SAT is very tedious and time consuming.
We aren't talking about--at least I'm not talking about--MILSPEC testing with calibration certificates for all test equipment and a 600 page specification and 2000 page test procedure with witnesses. We're talking about opening panels, taking pictures, measuring SWR on radios, running watermakers (stick the sample tube in a bucket and time how long it takes to fill-TDS of the input water), putting a clamp-on ammeter on leads from battery chargers and alternators and individual solar panels, running the autopilot calibration routine as part of sea trials. Actually sailing the boat in sea trials. Observing leads of lines (on the boat I'm on now you can't raise the dinghy into the davits without a line lead with a 30 degree change in lead with no fairlead). Determining if there is an engine operation interlock on the windlass (pet peeve). Load test on batteries. Firmware dates and chart dates on plotters. Fridge and freezer stable temperatures. Delta-T on aircon. Actually trace critical systems (e.g. diesel heater exhaust lines looking for dips); on this boat the survey missed that there is A MISSING HOSE on a section of the raw water inlet of the watermaker! You CAN'T operate the watermaker with no incoming water--we tracked that down in eight minutes.

"POWERED UP AND APPEARS TO WORK" IS NOT OKAY.

Let's not forget survey reports are a template. Writing the report is editing and sticking stuff in. The best surveyor I've ever worked with updated as he went on a laptop in the salon. When he walked off the boat we had the final report in hand. He wasn't any good with electronics either but we got a full day from him and he knew how to use a screwdriver.
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Old 11-10-2021, 07:45   #64
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
We aren't talking about--at least I'm not talking about--MILSPEC testing with calibration certificates for all test equipment and a 600 page specification and 2000 page test procedure with witnesses. We're talking about opening panels, taking pictures, measuring SWR on radios, running watermakers (stick the sample tube in a bucket and time how long it takes to fill-TDS of the input water), putting a clamp-on ammeter on leads from battery chargers and alternators and individual solar panels, running the autopilot calibration routine as part of sea trials. Actually sailing the boat in sea trials. Observing leads of lines (on the boat I'm on now you can't raise the dinghy into the davits without a line lead with a 30 degree change in lead with no fairlead). Determining if there is an engine operation interlock on the windlass (pet peeve). Load test on batteries. Firmware dates and chart dates on plotters. Fridge and freezer stable temperatures. Delta-T on aircon. Actually trace critical systems (e.g. diesel heater exhaust lines looking for dips); on this boat the survey missed that there is A MISSING HOSE on a section of the raw water inlet of the watermaker! You CAN'T operate the watermaker with no incoming water--we tracked that down in eight minutes.

"POWERED UP AND APPEARS TO WORK" IS NOT OKAY.

Let's not forget survey reports are a template. Writing the report is editing and sticking stuff in. The best surveyor I've ever worked with updated as he went on a laptop in the salon. When he walked off the boat we had the final report in hand. He wasn't any good with electronics either but we got a full day from him and he knew how to use a screwdriver.
If you are going to hold the surveyors feet to the fire, you need to specify each and every test required and the test needs to be detailed as to exactly what is done and what results need to be reported.

Does it need to be a MILSPEC with thousands of pages, probably not but you can't just say "do a better job". Once you start digging in, it very quickly spirals out of control. Only a fool for a surveyor would take on what you are suggesting without getting everything spelled out in detail because it's taking on a huge amount of liability.

You can spell out all the items you list above but you actually need to spell them out along with what is expected...anything not on your list above won't get done.

I'm not suggesting surveyors aren't lacking at times but just saying "do better" doesn't solve anything. It needs details.
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:25   #65
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

One way that could work:

Contact a charter company about what boats will be leaving their fleet and going to brokerage soon. Explain to them you are interested in buying,... but want to charter the exact yacht first.

Charter the boat at the end of its charter life, right before it goes to brokerage.

I don't see why any charter company would have a problem with this.

They sell a charter,... and could sell a boat. It's no lose for them

Of course this limits you to charter boats,... and not sure if they'll give you asking price before it goes to brokerage,... but can't hurt to ask.
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Old 11-10-2021, 15:47   #66
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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One way that could work:

Contact a charter company about what boats will be leaving their fleet and going to brokerage soon. Explain to them you are interested in buying,... but want to charter the exact yacht first.

Charter the boat at the end of its charter life, right before it goes to brokerage.

I don't see why any charter company would have a problem with this.

They sell a charter,... and could sell a boat. It's no lose for them

Of course this limits you to charter boats,... and not sure if they'll give you asking price before it goes to brokerage,... but can't hurt to ask.
Thank you! I guess this might be the most possible scenario...
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Old 16-10-2021, 03:22   #67
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

The "charter before you buy" can work with a high quality charter company, or with a small family-run charter business with a good reputation.
It will not work with charter companies that have low business ethics as you have no idea what the boat will look like at handover time. Some charter companies have no problem to strip boats and swap parts. Dream is a perfect example IMO.

If you want to deal with DYC make sure you cover your back. Insist to pay through an external escrow service. I would also make sure they provide paperwork evidence of boat title, mortgage, ownership before you wire any money. For french flagged boats this information is available at the customs office in the port of registry, so you just need boat name and port of registry.
Its unlikely DYC still talks to you at that point.


If you really sign a deal with DYC and wire them money in their own account you are at the mercy of the base manager. At handover you may be surprised that the 3m RIB with a new 10HP Honda that is listed in the contract somehow looks like a 2,5m flat bottom rubber duck with an old 2HP Tohatsu.




As for the 39 in Madagasgar. DYC know the market. They price their boats according to market price minus a few percent to stand out from the other charter boats, but you get what you pay for. The listing says she has 7000h on the engines after 6 years so the sailing season must have 12 month in Madagasgar. In a remote 3rd world country without easy access to certified mechanics or tools or parts. Expect it to be a run down miserable piece of floating junk. If you remove all duck tape she will sink in a minute.
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Old 16-10-2021, 06:07   #68
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
Yes. "Test flow" includes TDS.

What is a one day survey? I see surveyors show up at 1030 and gone by 1500. Show up at 0830 and gone by 1200. I know there are good dedicated surveyors out there that put in a full days work and DO test everything (well, except electronics--always a shortfall) but they are the exception rather than the rule.



We aren't talking about--at least I'm not talking about--MILSPEC testing with calibration certificates for all test equipment and a 600 page specification and 2000 page test procedure with witnesses. We're talking about opening panels, taking pictures, measuring SWR on radios, running watermakers (stick the sample tube in a bucket and time how long it takes to fill-TDS of the input water), putting a clamp-on ammeter on leads from battery chargers and alternators and individual solar panels, running the autopilot calibration routine as part of sea trials. Actually sailing the boat in sea trials. Observing leads of lines (on the boat I'm on now you can't raise the dinghy into the davits without a line lead with a 30 degree change in lead with no fairlead). Determining if there is an engine operation interlock on the windlass (pet peeve). Load test on batteries. Firmware dates and chart dates on plotters. Fridge and freezer stable temperatures. Delta-T on aircon. Actually trace critical systems (e.g. diesel heater exhaust lines looking for dips); on this boat the survey missed that there is A MISSING HOSE on a section of the raw water inlet of the watermaker! You CAN'T operate the watermaker with no incoming water--we tracked that down in eight minutes.

"POWERED UP AND APPEARS TO WORK" IS NOT OKAY.

Let's not forget survey reports are a template. Writing the report is editing and sticking stuff in. The best surveyor I've ever worked with updated as he went on a laptop in the salon. When he walked off the boat we had the final report in hand. He wasn't any good with electronics either but we got a full day from him and he knew how to use a screwdriver.


Clearly you want a new boat at a second hand price as a seller i wouldnít let you within an asses roar of a boat I was selling.
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Old 16-10-2021, 06:17   #69
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Re: Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Clearly you want a new boat at a second hand price as a seller i wouldnít let you within an asses roar of a boat I was selling.
Well bless your heart.

Because you want potential buyers to just believe you about how you present your boat? You're afraid of non-intrusive testing and measurement?

By the way it works both ways. I've saved deals for the seller. On the boat I just got off the survey showed no inverter and no AIS. I showed pictures...and updated the MMSI and corrected boat size in the AIS. On another boat, I saved a seven figure deal because the US surveyor didn't understand CE.
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Old 16-10-2021, 06:33   #70
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Extended sea trial on pre catamaran purchase

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Well bless your heart.



Because you want potential buyers to just believe you about how you present your boat? You're afraid of non-intrusive testing and measurement?



By the way it works both ways. I've saved deals for the seller. On the boat I just got off the survey showed no inverter and no AIS. I showed pictures...and updated the MMSI and corrected boat size in the AIS. On another boat, I saved a seven figure deal because the US surveyor didn't understand CE.


No , I simply donít want the hassle of dealing with a personality like that thanks. I couldnít care less about a loss of one buyer.

I present my boats correctly, I list any defects and non functioning equipment ( there is never non functioning equipment cause I remove things that donít work or fix them. ). Iím not going to have some smart assed buyer second guessing me. A conventional surveyor of any ability will quickly ascertain any major issues . Minor issues , so what. Itís sold as seen. Iím certainly not changing the price cause you discover a faulty switch!

After buying 7 boats I donít now even use a surveyor other then for an insurance survey. Iíll appraise the boat better and faster then he will.

As a second hand buyer , I do not nit pick , my offer price will take into account my appraisal value. Iím looking for a sound hull and deck, sails and engine condition consistent with age and use. Interior looked after and consistent with usage patterns. Electronics easy validated in a 20 minutes and or during an hour trial sail. Most older boats will have all the electronics discounted out of the price anyway and a buyer will be likely ripping it out ( or should be )

These days I can walk on , and in twenty minutes know whether to proceed or discard the boat , you can tell well cared for boats in seconds.

So unless your trying to buy a piece of crap for peanuts or trying to be ďclever ď and low ball a decent boat, any knowledgable buyer and or half decent surveyor can reach a reasonable appraisal very quickly.

I would say that were big engines are involved if I suspect anything untoward I will pay for a seperate engine survey

( the biggest hassle I had was with a brand new Beneteau 393)

I will always budget upwards of 15% post purchase to custom the boat to the way I like it.

Oh and by and large I do not buy ex charter boats.
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