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Old 05-09-2017, 08:08   #31
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 33
Re: Buying a STEEL boat WITHOUT survey

I own a steel boat now and can say that even with due diligence, lots of surprises can happen.

My wife and I found a 38 foot, professionally built boat, stored in a barn for the previous three years. The owner and her husband had owned the boat for many years previous and had kept up the maintenance. The boat had been hauled so the they could take the exterior finishes off and recoat. When we found the boat, the bottom had been completely redone and the decks were in process.

Enter the surveyor. He climbed all over that boat and rigging and found about three pages of replacement/repair jobs; some necessary, some elective, some not up to ABYC standards. Having gone through that process and having torn the interior apart ourselves to see the inside condition of the hull and systems, we armed ourselves with some money saving deficiencies and chose to make an offer contingent on a successful sea trial. All went well and we negotiated the final deal.

Now, three years later, we are staring to see the light of day. We paid good money for that survey and it didn't find nearly as much as we found in the end. The list of projects that we've completed so far doesn't even resemble the list of things we first wrote down. The only reason that we've continued with this boat is that she had good bones to start with that have been well maintained, we were able to recut the rig so that she sails well on almost all points and, even tho most systems were old, they all worked and would be serviceable until the budget was there to replace them. It's been a difficult "row to hoe" but she is better structurally and most mechanical and electrical systems have improved. Cosmetically, she's becoming a head turner... not bad for a multi-chine steel boat.

I can't imagine what kind of POS someone would willingly buy into if they didn't value their money, time and sweat enough to not bother with a proper surveys, both professional and personal. Even with all the efforts we took to make qualified decisions, we still feel as tho we were ripped off. We will come out of this with a pretty good boat although a little more battered, bruised in the process.

So there you go, even with due diligence, expensive surprises can result. If one doesn't think that it's necessary to pony up a few bucks in the beginning, to at least educate themselves on what they're getting into, they can't complain and moan after the fact. A boat is an irrational purchase (Caveat Emptor), use as much common sense in the process as you can.
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