I've been looking hard at used sailing yachts for a while primarily in the 35-45 foot range.
Too often I come across a guy who is selling an unfinished "project" typically claiming that way more money
has been spent than he is asking now. Too often the story I get suggests someone who was overly optimistic or overconfident. But lately I've begun to suspect even another wrinkle and I don't want it to happen to me.
A guy buys a boat
in obvious need of repair, manages to get it towed to a yard who sets it up "on the hard" and they immediately start sanding
and mending the hull
. This seems to happen before the rudder
is repaired, rigging
estimates, re-power, etc. The hull work
, given the hours of effort, seems to be charged reasonably as are the storage fees
for the first two or three months.
Then before you know it, there are additional thousands of dollars, an engine
removed and waiting for parts
, packing, transmission
, keel bolts
, sail repair... OK, you get it. Together these easily exceed any reasonable expectation of selling price
, but not the "It will be worth $50-$75k when completed." As if to add insult to injury, the yard now wants perhaps $600 per month on the claim that the customer agreed to that after the first X months and is not "cooperating" on getting the repairs
The "scam" question is: Doesn't the yard know where this is likely headed? Do they get legitimate "approval" for the hull work
or just simply start as soon as the boat
is out of the water
on the theory that there would be no further work needed if the hull is not sound? Does customer "approval" come simply by having the boat pulled out of the water
Am I paranoid? Is there a way to avoid what appears to be common practice?