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Old 10-13-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Boat Search Previews

As you probably most likely know, I assist numerous clients find and purchase their boats.* I took Mary with me last week so she could go through first hand how I go about inspecting yachts. I previewed a Hatteras trawler for an out of state customer.* I actually perform a mini-survey looking for anything that might be a red flag for a prospective buyer. He had rather find out sooner than later about a boat.

The first thing I did was to give her a good look over on her hull and decks. I used a moisture meter to detect any moisture beneath the gel coat.* I gave her a complete inspection of all the decks searching for anything questionable.* I did not find any soft spots or anything other than she could use a little new paint at the rubrails.

I then began inside the boat, inside the salon to start.* I went throughout the salon looking especially for any evidence of window leaks.* Again I used my moisture meter to peer beneath the surface. I only found one small place that was not active, just a little staining from a past water leak around a window.* I checked the bulkheads, the flooring and the ceiling.* All looked fine.* I lifted the wall to wall carpet to find beautiful teak & holly flooring with a nice high-gloss finish.

I then moved to the galley which was adjacent to the salon and performed the same inspection.* I also checked out the appliances to make sure they were in acceptable condition. The Buyers wife wants a dishwasher inside her trawler but this one did not have one but we did measure to see if one could be installed.

On to the wheelhouse where I once again used my moisture meter to determine whether there were water leak issues.* I also did a cursory inspection of the area to determine the overall shape of the woodwork, electronics etc.* I did not power up the electronics but just gave them a once over for any visible signs of corrosion etc..* I did find a problem with an exterior door where moisture was present within the wood and fiberglass door.* I moved to the flybridge where I inspected the decking, propane locker, dingy and mounts and searched again at the electronics.* You have to look closely at all masts deck-stepped as water can penetrate here.

Back down below in the master stateroom we searched for signs of water damage by the portholes and on the walls.* I checked the rudder posts and water tanks under the bunk to see what condition they were in; good shape actually.* A quick inspection of the shower & head were also done.* Each of the other 3 staterooms and heads were inspected as well, looking for unmistakable red flags.

Last but not least we found ourselves in the engine room.* I searched to see if the engine room itself was clean and whether the bilges were clean.* I also checked to see what condition the fuel tanks were in and what how the engines and generators looked.* All of them seemed to be in good condition.* I also searched at the air conditioning systems for the yacht and found one raw water pump that was leaking but should be a simple repair.

No equipment or systems were run during the inspection, this happens during the survey.* I also checked the shaft stuffing boxes, strainer condition, electrical panels, stabilizer mechanicals, the bonding system and the batteries.
All in all, we looked at a boat in average to above average condition for her age.* She likely needs a a couple of things to get her ship shape but not much.* I can now advise my buyer to go forward with her or go find another boat.

When we returned home, I prepared a report for my buyer in which I passed along all determinations and concerns.* We will look to see whether the purchaser wishes to personally view this trawler or pass on her.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Here is an interesting test to perform with the moisture meter:

At home, use the moisture meter on an inside wall and slowly move it across the sheet rock. When you get to a solid stud, the moisture meter will peg full scale deflection. You will note that there is NO MOISTURE in that wall.

So you gotta be careful how you use a moisture meter and what you conclude from it.


R.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Yes,
**From all I have seen and read a moisture meter is about as good as a dowsing rod.

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Old 10-13-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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RE: Boat Search Previews

The idea of a pre-inspection inspection is a good one. I think you told me about your broker questionnaire early on, Mike. If someone has a problem answering some BASIC questions about the condition of their boat, or has an issue with a broker(other than the listing broker) having a look around prior to a first visit by a potential buyer, it would be a huge red flag that would have me looking elsewhere.

However, from what I have learned about moisture meters, they are fairly "artistic" about the readings you get through gelcoat and fiberglass. Although, using them on wood is where I put more trust in them (the probe style).

Comrade Tom-
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Is this an ad?
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Ralph:
You doubt a dowsing rod? I have first hand experience with a dowsing rod and I can vouch for their effectiveness. I have a moisture meter and I have yet to figure out how to interpret its results.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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RE: Boat Search Previews

kind of sounds like an ad to me too daddyo....
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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RE: Boat Search Previews

A pre-inspection is what the prospective new owner should be doing. Or*have the Captain do it who will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the newly acquired vessel. The only newbie I'd use would be a well qualified and certified surveyor who assures the bank and insurer all is well.

Using a broker for a pre-inspection is bass ackwards IMHO.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:19 AM   #9
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:Using a broker for a pre-inspection is bass ackwards IMHO.
I would go along with that.* When we flew down to Alameda to inspect, sea trial, and survey the GB we subsequently bought, we drew up an extensive list of every item, component, feature, and system of the boat I could think of.* We were not familiar with GBs other than having chartered one, so we weren't' sure of all the details of the boat, so I simply put down every item I could think of that might be on a* boat of this type to check, from the cabin lights to the stove to the anchor windlass to the condition of the gelcoat.* Eerything from stem to stern, bilge to flying bridge.* The list was some three or four pages long.

We also paid the airfare and expenses to have a good friend of ours who had at the time been in the marine industry for thirty-some years and was very familiar with GBs to go with us and check out the boat.* He could care less if we bought the boat or not--- he was totally objective in his evaluations.* We also had "our" broker with us-- the one who had found the boat-- and the selling broker was there as well.

But to sunchaser's point, I, my wife,and our very experienced and totally objective friend were the ones who performed the initial inspection of the boat.* Not either of the brokers, and not the engine and hull surveyors, who came later.

*
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:

Using a broker for a pre-inspection is bass ackwards IMHO.
I would somewhat agree, however, not having anyone give an opinion about it would be worse. Still, you would need to be using a "buyer's broker" (I know... there is no such thing) to look through the boat for this to be useful and not the listing broker.

I think what Mike is saying is that this is more the idea for a buyer that is looking at a boat that is some distance away and not in their backyard. If I was buying a boat in FL from here in NC, I would want to at least have a broker or a surveyer do a preliminary tour of the boat before I made any formal agreement or bought a plane ticket down for a full survey.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #11
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The problem is a broker only makes money if a boat is sold/bought via commission ( in the business it is called commission breath).*I know, I know, a broker is always revealing and honest. As a prospective new owner, best to educate yourself on each and every vessel, using a "for fee only"*expert opinion as necessary - just as Marin did.

If in doubt, for a top notch pre-inspection survey hire someone like RickB, Steve D'Antonio*or their clones ( several others come to mind). They'll give you straight up answers.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Thursday 14th of October 2010 08:52:02 AM
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:48 AM   #12
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Hiya,
** S. D'Antonio IMHO is quite opinionated to the point where I can see him condeming a 30 old vessel*with original wiring in good condition as not being in compliance with current AYBC suggestions.* I wouldn't want him on MY boat.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:39 AM   #13
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:


Still, you would need to be using a "buyer's broker" (I know... there is no such thing)....
Sure there is.* We had a "buyers broker" when we went looking for a GB.* He suggested several boats and we finally narrowed it down to the one we bought.* The boat we bought was not represented by him, but by the seller's broker in California.* But "our" broker went with us (no charge) to California for the inspection, sea trial, and surveys.

*
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #14
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Marin,I'll be your buyers broker and suggest you look at the Lord Nelson for 148K at North Harbor Yacht Sales in Anacortes.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Firefly - As a seller, of course you would not want SDA or his clone on your boat. As a buyer that is exactly the kind of guy I want ( and used his clone 5 years ago).
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

Marin,
I'll be your buyers broker and suggest you look at the Lord Nelson for 148K at North Harbor Yacht Sales in Anacortes.
That might not be a bad deal depending on the condition of the boat and the engine in it.* Is it a 37 or a 49?* At that price I'm assuming it's an older 37.* Some Victory Tugs used some less-than-preferable engines as I recall.* However some of them have Cummins in them.* There's also a very nice VT37 for sale in our marina called "Minot's Light."* At least it had a big For Sale sign on it when it was hauled in the yard the other month.* It's back in the water but I haven't looked to see if it's still for sale.

But we're not in the market for a different boat at this point.* Maybe never will be.* We really like the Victory Tug (based on its looks-- we've never run one).* But we've had several occasions now to experience the benefits of a tri-cabin boat so I'm not sure we'd want to give that up unless it was for a much larger Europa or pilothouse boat with at least two staterooms forward, like a GB46 or a Fleming.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 14th of October 2010 12:37:16 PM
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:47 PM   #17
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RE: Boat Search Previews

Hiya,
** Mr. sunchaser.* I'm not selling and I've heard SDA speak on a couple of occasions.* Too full of himself and no "expert" in my opinion.* I wouldn't even have a drink with him.* *If I*was*in a position*to sell*I would welcome a GOOD surveyor on board.* I think a full* and thorough survey benifits not only the buyer, but the*seller as well.* As a seller I would not want to misrepresent a boat and stiff the new owner with problems I was aware of or lied about and a good survey might bring up an issue I was not aware of.
** I know a couple of people who have used a buyer's broker and they've been very pleased.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:09 PM   #18
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RE: Boat Search Previews

No matter what, a broker is paid by the seller. You can use a broker that you trust to help you through the process or even find you a boat, but in the end, the money he makes comes from the seller. So unless you can find a fee-based buyer's broker or a "consultant", there is no such thing.

Nevertheless, they CAN be a benefit to a buyer. You just have to understand where THEIR head and hand is.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #19
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The "buyer's broker" we used to find our boat did not charge us anything for his services. He got a percentage of the selling broker's commission. He went with us to California to inspect and sea trial the boat--- his deal was that if we didn't buy the boat we'd have to reimburse him for his airfare and expenses (we were there for two days, one night). If we did buy the boat we would not have to reimburse him for the trip.

We made an offer on the boat when we saw the spec sheet prior to our trip down to California, and the offer was contingent on the boat being what the sheet said it was (had they layout we wanted, etc.), that it would pass the sea trial, and that it would*pass its hull/structure/systems, and engine surveys.

Our offer was accepted and that's what we paid for the boat.* We paid cash so there was no financing involved. Our "buyer's broker" even negotiated (on his own) a reduction of the accepted offer to cover the repair of the autopilot we didn't even know the boat had until we saw it and which didn't work. (We didn't fix it, we simply removed it.)

So our experience using a broker to help us find a boat was terrific. He is still the lead broker with the Grand Banks dealer in Bellingham and we would recommend him to anyone.



-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 14th of October 2010 08:31:40 PM
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:48 PM   #20
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Both the buyer and seller pay for the broker. Without each person, the broker would never get paid. The broker makes the transaction more expensive, period. They're nothing more than the Realtors of the boat world.

I'm hoping to locate a boat and purchase it without even using a broker. I don't care for Realtors, car salesmen, mortgage brokers, and I have a hunch I'm not going to be too fond of boat brokers. All just want to get into your wallet.

-- Edited by BoatDog on Thursday 14th of October 2010 10:51:10 PM
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