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Old 02-17-2016, 12:25 PM   #1
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Deal killers on a boat purchase...

Art started a great thread of the Top Five Needed Boat Features. So the reverse now. The top five or whatever number it works out to be, but those things that absolutely were deal killers and you would not consider a boat that had or didn't have them. These are not simply the things you didn't prefer, but strict, firm deal killers.

In our most recent purchase (Important to keep in mind this was for a loop boat), I'd list these as starters:

Inability to clear or easily modify to clear 19'2" bridge

Over 5'6" draft (we got 5').

Lack of lower and bridge helms.

No flybridge.

Inability to cruise at 20 knots (I realize that's not for most here but I know many have a minimum they looked for)

Lower galley.

Built out of material other than fiberglass so aluminum and steel were deal killers.

Pod drives.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:34 PM   #2
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The most recent deal killer for me was when they opened the engine hatches the bilge was a mess. Things were just thrown in there. Literally.
Past that it just opposite what I posted in the other thread. No need to list them again.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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For us, we traveled a few states away to look at a trawler, spent hours looking at her in detail and we were never informed that the gentleman who was showing us the boat was also at the helm when she was holed and went to the bottom a few years ago. Water was I forget if knee or waist high inside. I think waist high.

Information that had it been presented adequately beforehand would not have deterred us from looking at the boat as an option. The manner in which it was hidden made us feel we would be safer moving on.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:16 PM   #4
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I once looked at a boat and saw a angled straight line of different colors on the teak interior paneling.


To me that meant it had sunk. I walked.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:53 PM   #5
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This may sound odd, but for me it would be the smell. Boats tend to smell like boats and that doesn't bother me too much. But I have been on boats that have smelled of mildew, fuel, fried batteries, or holding tanks. Again, it is a boat so you expect some of that at times, but a smell can tell you a lot about the condition of some of its systems or the nature of the maintenance.

Even for a relative idiot such as myself, the nose knows.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:10 PM   #6
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This may sound odd, but for me it would be the smell. Boats tend to smell like boats and that doesn't bother me too much. But I have been on boats that have smelled of mildew, fuel, fried batteries, or holding tanks. Again, it is a boat so you expect some of that at times, but a smell can tell you a lot about the condition of some of its systems or the nature of the maintenance.

Even for a relative idiot such as myself, the nose knows.
The boat I mentioned in Post#3 was the best smelling older boat I had ever been on. There just was no smell. It wasn't fbreeze, or any other scent covering up boat odors. it just had no odor. Start pulling up floor panels and theres a few ozone generators installed and running. They did wonders for the smell, but of course they do their damage.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dhays View Post
This may sound odd, but for me it would be the smell. Boats tend to smell like boats and that doesn't bother me too much. But I have been on boats that have smelled of mildew, fuel, fried batteries, or holding tanks. Again, it is a boat so you expect some of that at times, but a smell can tell you a lot about the condition of some of its systems or the nature of the maintenance.

Even for a relative idiot such as myself, the nose knows.
No....smell is a very big one on a boat or house or car. I have allergies and I'm very sensitive to smells. Now that also means I can pick up on smells others might not. I'm sometimes amazed others don't smell things and they often think I'm imagining it. One thing too is that people on a boat get use to the smell.

Also, masking smells. Walk into the ER and it smells like bleach or lavender or anything else and I'd like to know what they are covering. You get closer and you smell what they're trying to cover and want to know what was there a week ago.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #8
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Exterior teak.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:03 PM   #9
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A deal killer for me on any purchase is for the salesperson to lie to me. The moment they start saying things I know not to be true, I'm gone. I might even ask questions that I know the answers to just to give them the chance. I just don't deal with dishonest people. There was a dealer on the lake that consistently lied to every customer about the speed of boats.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:10 PM   #10
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My primary deal killers are:

1. Spaces that i can't get into that I will need to get into.

I walked on one boat that was otherwise nearly perfect because I couldn't get to the back of the engine.

2. Brokers that won't listen to me.

I walked on a boat I was ready to make an offer on because the broker kept interrupting me when I was doing my final pre-offer inspection. I finally told him that if he interrupted me again I would walk. When he interrupted after that I took the check I had for the offer out of my wallet, showed it to him, tore it in half, told him I wouldn't be back and walked away.

3. An asking price that is too high for the boat's condition. I won't even look it the asking price is out of line.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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1: Climb over bed in the master. 2: No flying bridge. 3: Galley Up (Wife's preference). 3: Outside teak. Of course, these are all superficial, it goes without saying that a poor hull or mechanical survey with prohibitively expensive repairs or showing an absolute lack of regular maintenance would get us out the door quickly!
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:15 PM   #12
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Brokers : Out of pure principle we have walked from 2 boats early in the process of purchasing because we couldn't deal with idiots posing as professional sales persons . On both occasions communication was non existent out right lies total lack of product knowledge .We are interested in a interstate boat at present I have left 7 messages with one broker on 3 phone lines and 2 emails with no reply. Sad as the boat he is selling fits our needs .
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:24 PM   #13
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3. An asking price that is too high for the boat's condition. I won't even look it the asking price is out of line.
Interesting. That's an issue I've debated with several people. How far above your top budget do you look? I have acquaintances who won't look more than 10% above. Meanwhile I've seen a lot of boats sold with far more of a discount from the listed price. One thing I've seen is that sometimes the broker doesn't agree with the listing price but the seller insists on it. The broker believes though that the seller will come down if he gets an offer.

I consider asking prices to potentially be very negotiable. We paid 17% less than the just reduced listed price on our house and 22% less than the price had been two days earlier.

I do know there are many people like you and whether boat or house the sure way to discourage sales is to list too high. People think they can lower it later if it doesn't sell, but by then it's a stale listing and no one is interested.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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Interesting. That's an issue I've debated with several people. How far above your top budget do you look? I have acquaintances who won't look more than 10% above. Meanwhile I've seen a lot of boats sold with far more of a discount from the listed price. One thing I've seen is that sometimes the broker doesn't agree with the listing price but the seller insists on it. The broker believes though that the seller will come down if he gets an offer.

I consider asking prices to potentially be very negotiable. We paid 17% less than the just reduced listed price on our house and 22% less than the price had been two days earlier.

I do know there are many people like you and whether boat or house the sure way to discourage sales is to list too high. People think they can lower it later if it doesn't sell, but by then it's a stale listing and no one is interested.
20% discount is about average here from my findings .The broker tells the seller he can get more than asking price(20% +) and if he dose they will split the difference . My first offer is always 30% under when dealing with a broker and we stalemate at around -20%
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:33 PM   #15
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Lack of head room, fell in love with a Grand Banks 36 but my 6'3" height was a no go. Super deal on a Grand Banks 42 till I spotted the DevCon on the Lelands air intake casting and found a recent haul out report about 12 1/2' of rotted keel not repaired during last haul out. The other deal breaker for me is always the lack of maintenance logs.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:36 PM   #16
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20% discount is about average here from my findings .The broker tells the seller he can get more than asking price(20% +) and if he dose they will split the difference . My first offer is always 30% under when dealing with a broker and we stalemate at around -20%
I'm with you in that I'd look at boats 30% overpriced and offer what I felt was reasonable. But I've discovered many people won't do that.

Now the arrangement of splitting extra would lead to loss of broker license in Florida, but we're one of only two states that licenses boat brokers.
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:29 PM   #17
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Looked at a trawler not long ago that was in good shape except it had the lower corners of both saddle tanks pretty badly rusted. Not yet leaking, but highly questionable.

Broker swore that they had been that way for 15 years and would be for another 15 at least. I walked.
Being a twin, would have cost me $30K+ in repairs if one of those tanks started to leak. Pull engines, freshen up bilge, replace tanks, tune-up engines and replace - big boat bucks.

The boat was subsequently sold not long after. No idea for how much. Would not have wanted that headache for 1/2 the price. Seems like a roll of the dice for the new owner.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:14 PM   #18
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1) Evidence the owner did not try to maintain the ER. (IE oil under the engine that had not been touched in years. Engine oil that clings to the dipstick like coal tar, etc.) See photo from boat we walked from.
2) Teak decks with leaks into the cabin
3) Twin beds or beds with one side access.
4) Only one half size refer.
5) Leaking fuel tank(s).
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:20 PM   #19
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In a brief stint in real estate after retirement I quickly learned buyers will not look at substantially overpriced property. That idea that buyers will still look and make offers is the exception rather than the norm. I expect it applies to boats.
The problem with lies and misrepresentation is like cockroaches,if you find one there are probably plenty more,and trust in the seller, broker, and the boat, begins to evaporate.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:23 PM   #20
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Early on the biggest showstopper for me was headroom. At the time I was looking at sailing catamarans.

I came close to buying Fisher 44 motorsailer. But it would have been q bit of a project, and besides the draft was a killer. For the tropics I'd set 5' max., and wanted less.

What should have been a deal breaker on the boat I bought was diesel smell in the ER. Quite strong, persistent. I did not think about it too much - diesel engines in a confined space will smell, I thought.

Well, they should not. I have no smell of diesel at all since my refit. The smell was from fuel tanks, just 'weeping'. So no fuel in bilge but saturated tank supports and a smell that would not go away.

Replacing tanks led to a major refit. Sure, now I basically have 20 years now where I will have little other than routine maintenance. But i could have bought the same model with tanks and re-power already done for a lot less...

Soft teak foredeck was not a deal breaker, nor would it be again. Repair cost was factored into purchase and repairs were only 10% more than the surveyor estimated/guessed they would be. People get far too easily frightened over teak. Real pity the surveyor missed the leaky tanks though.
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