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Old 03-03-2017, 05:07 AM   #1
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Am I Crazy?

So we're looking for a boat and have found one that checks off most of the boxes, but it's almost 500 miles away. We have seen many pictures and a video that seem to capture the essence of the vessel. It is a one owner and appears to be in pristine condition with low hours on the engines. It is currently shrink wrapped and on the hard. Here's the dilemma: Since it's wrapped, I can actually see more of the boat in the video from last September than I could see if I were to inspect it in person. Is it crazy to have our broker make an offer without visiting in-person? My thinking is that the survey will uncover any issues prior to sale and the cost of the survey is roughly the same as a flight and hotel.
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:29 AM   #2
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Well if the costs are comparable, don't really see you have much to lose. Also why don't you see if you can contact the owner direct, to have a chat. That may well give you some insight of how the boat has been looked after, I wouldn't leave it all to your broker

Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:41 AM   #3
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No it's not crazy to make an offer based on inspection and survey. You are negotiating a price. If you can't get it for what you're willing to pay for it, there's no point starting to spend money on that boat. Once you have a contract, you need to do the inspection (separate from the survey) as soon as the shrink wrap can be removed (winter is over). Then, if you still want it, schedule the survey and sea trial. So the contract might go like this: purchase boat for $X contingent on inspection by April 10th (shrink wrap removed at owner's expense), surveyed with sea trial by April 20th, with closing by May 1st. You can always back out after the inspection or sea trial. The price can also be renegotiated down after inspection or survey based on discoveries.

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Old 03-03-2017, 05:59 AM   #4
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That's sort of how we bought ours and we were 5000 miles away, in Italy. A very knowledgeable TF member (Sailor of Fortune) was kind enough to visit Palm Coast, FL and confirm that the boat appeared to be in as good condition as advertised. We knew we wanted a Defever 44 and made an offer contingent on an acceptable survey. (Ours wasn't shrink-wrapped, but someone should be able to get aboard the boat you're considering.) We're happy with the outcome, but I still catch some grief for carrying out the process while climbing over Italian antiquities. My wife has a picture of me sitting under some incredible Vatican tapestries talking to brokers.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:13 AM   #5
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I agree w others and it is similar to our purchase 1500 mi away. Our buyer broker - a relative - negotiated price contingent on inspection, boat and engine survey and sea trial.
I did inspect prior to closing and negotiated a few minor adjustments to cover issues identified.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:17 AM   #6
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Go see it,access doors can be cut in shrink wrap at very minor expense, the brokers.

A days drive over, a day of access , another day returning.

Its a fantasy to think your "perfect" boat is going to be found with no effort.

What is a 3 day investment to the delight or horrors of the next decade?

While you are there if time is left ask the yard and nearby yards that may be for sale , but not advertised.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:38 AM   #7
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500 miles is very close to go and look at a boat. I have made an offer on a boat in Cape Coral, FL. and I live in AZ. I will be flying to Florida a a couple of weeks to do a sea trial, personal inspection, as well as have a good marine surveyor do a hull survey as well as an engine survey, sending oil samples out to get tested.

When my wife and I bought a camper, a few years ago, we traveled from TX. to WA. state to purchase the camper. We got the exact camper we wanted at a reasonable price.

Traveling to get what you want, at the right price, sometimes makes a lot of sense. The boat we re looking at is at the builders right now, and although I believe it is in good condition, there are things I want to make it more comfortable for us, so will have the original builder make the changes we want.

PS: yes the boat is on a trailer so we can tow it back to AZ., and will use it on the way home.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:48 AM   #8
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I purchased my first boat, "sight unseen" years ago under circumstances like these...
Owned that boat for 13 years, met my wife on it, honeymooned on it and we both loved the boat.
Are you crazy? I believe that anyone who spends the time and resources to own a boat is crazy! Cover your bases and enjoy the ride.
Bruce
P.S. Boats often look better in photos and videos than they do in real life. Some people (me!) are fussy about the little imperfections often not captured in a photo...
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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Jamup

I'm in the camp of see it first. Why can't you just do a trip to see it? If at this point you can't drum up the enthusiasm and energy to go see it, it will be doubly difficult 5 years from now to be excited about upkeep and cruising.

Now if it is the twin of a vessel you spent countless hours on already and know the boat very well, I retract my comment above. A few years ago I looked at 3 boats of the same model and builder. A fourth identical vessel came along that I was unable to see immediately ( I was in NZ, far away like Angus) ) so indeed made an offer subject to all the caveats such as survey, sea trail etc.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:47 AM   #10
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Buying a boat is like falling in love. a fever, and there is nothing to hold you, if he is right. if he does not have it, is a disappointment deep and heavy until I find a new candidate. you're not crazy, you're just in "love"


Kippis!
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by North Baltic sea View Post
Buying a boat is like falling in love. a fever, and there is nothing to hold you, if he is right. if he does not have it, is a disappointment deep and heavy until I find a new candidate. you're not crazy, you're just in "love"


Kippis!
He???
I believe that "She" is more appropriate, at least here in the United States.
I forgot that some cultures refer to boats in the masculine...
It would be interesting to learn why.
Bruce
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:24 AM   #12
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500 mile is a piece of cake. Go look at the boat in person, if it fits the ticket, put down an offer. If accepted then the work begins with surveys etc. We bout ASD in the Bay area and cruised it 780 miles to the Columbia River. BTW Welcome to TF....
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:28 AM   #13
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We enjoyed a $1000 weekend, too. Flew PHL - HOU to look at a boat. Walked down the dock and knew instantly that we weren't buying it. Got our deposit back.

Drove around Galveston and Kemah and came back home.

Go look, either fall in love or not, then decide whether to have her surveyed. You might well put a deposit/contract to hold her pending the usual inspections. (We searched on line all over the country and visited a few only a couple hundred miles away. Found one 14 miles from the home marina.)
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
He???
I believe that "She" is more appropriate, at least here in the United States.
I forgot that some cultures refer to boats in the masculine...
It would be interesting to learn why.
Bruce
I try to explain, usually the men take care of the boat here and make love to it "she" like a woman

Of course if you are gay so might be good to say "He"

I hope this idea to open a little. we are not here homophobic, here gays can get married, and after all, we belong to the world's gay art of Tom of Finland.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_of_Finland

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Old 03-03-2017, 10:59 AM   #15
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In our two year search for our boat I knew 3 times that "this is the one" from the pictures.

And within minutes of seeing the boat in person I knew "this isn't the one"

Go look, enjoy the search

Joe
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:13 AM   #16
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That's just how I proceeded though mine was over 2000 miles away at the time and I still have her eighteen years this May! Good Luck!
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:28 AM   #17
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Thank you for the responses and suggestions. Let me clarify some questions and statements made in response to my initial post.

1) I would attend the survey and sea trial and in the process inspect the boat. The only step I'm skipping is the initial look. As stated, the boat is shrink wrapped so although I can gain entry into the boat, I would only be able to inspect the interior, engine and cockpit. The high resolution pictures show these to be exceptionally clean. My inperson inspection won't reveal any true engine issues, I will rely on an engine survey for that. I will not be able to see the deck or hull since the boat is wrapped.

2) Although winter is over in many parts of the country, the high will be 24 tomorrow where the boat is located.

3) I have been aboard a sistership (same builder, model) and feel it is the right boat for our current mission.

4) Seems a bit of a leap to equate making only two 1000 mile round trips (survey/sea trial & delivery) to my enthusiasm and long term enjoyment and upkeep of the vessel. Just sayin'!

At the end of the day, if the vessel is not as represented in pictures, video and the listing brokers conversation with my broker I'll walk away.
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:36 AM   #18
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I took a four hour one way trip to look at one boat, and came back with another...
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:59 AM   #19
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Yes, you're crazy. Now call your broker and make an offer on that boat!

(I mean, aren't we ALL a little bit crazy? Crazy about boats, at the very least!)
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:04 PM   #20
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A "new to you boat" search is like going on a blind date. It won't take you long to discover if "she" is not the right one for you. It takes a bit longer to determine if she could be right for you, and that decision making process is like going on more dates. Those dates include the sea trials, surveys, etc


The right boat, like the perfect lady, should make your heart beat faster and make you smile every time you see her. In your heart you know she's the right one for you.


We traveled 2350 miles each way TWICE to see Beachcomber before we bought her. Then shipped her over 2400 miles to a boat yard for recommissioning.


Six years later she still makes me smile every time I see her. My wife teases me about Beachcomber being the main love of my life. Not really, but it's close.
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