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Old 11-27-2016, 10:47 AM   #1
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Help Estimating Costs for Survey Corrections

I am in the final stages of buying a single 300 hp engine stabilized trawler with a John Deere engine. Although the spec sheet on Yacht World said "better than new', my surveyor found a pretty long list of needed corrections. The following is broken down into two sections. According to the surveyor Section 1 needs to be completed before closing to make the boat ready for the 150 mile trip home and to make sure there are no lurking issues such as shaft pitting or crevice corrosion.

Section 2 is where I need help in estimating the total cost of repairs so I can negotiate a fair reduction in purchase price.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON ONE OR ALL. I need the help. Thanks

Here it is:


Section 1
Before closing, at the seller’s expense, the boat should be taken to a qualified boat yard for the following repairs. Surveyor's verbal comment was that the boat is not ready for “sea” meaning a longer trip than to the boat yard.
Haul the boat and repair the leaking PSS shaft seal and the leaking rudder seal.
Clean the sediment from the Racor filters and replace elements.
Fix the raw water leak on the JD engine from after cooler to oil cooler.
Replace leaking generator exhaust hose.

Section 2
Seller to repair the following or make an appropriate reduction in selling price.
B.1 Muir 2500 windlass switch at bridge will not operate in the UP position.
$
B.3 Salon Cruisair digital A/C control will not go into “Heat Mode”.
$
C.1 Rust and corrosion on bow sprit thru bolts.
$
C.3 External sheathing deterioration on hydraulic hoses and rust/corrosion on hydraulic actuator for davit.
$
C.6 Rusty/corroded hose clamps on a/c units raw water hoses for pumps, sea cocks and strainers.
$
C.7 The igniter system for galley stove was not operable.
$
C.8 Air Sep Ventilation hoses are cracked and checked.
$
C.9 Nuisance type oil leaks on main engine. Rust/Corrosion on engine start/stop solenoid, rust corrosion inside turbo housing.
$
C.10 The analog gauges on fly bridge were jumpy and fluctuated during trial run.
$
C.11 Wiring for Maretron display ,in engine room, uses not heat shrink type butt connectors.
$
C.13 Evidence of galvanic corrosion on hydraulic oil cooler for stabilizer reservoir.
$
c.14 Oil leak at the pipe fittings to the ZF gear oil cooler.
$
C.16 Some of the wet celled batteries (4 8D's and 1 4D out of 9 total) have low fluid levels and were installed in June, 2009. Some are near the end of their useful life.
$
C.17 The generator temperature gauge read 197-198 degrees during trial run. This may indicate a possible cooling issue or condition. Only the stabilizers were using generator power at this time. Remove heat exchanger from boat for a proper cleaning. Do not acid flush.
$
C.18 The generator raw water cooling hose from the strainer to the pump is starting to crack.
$
C.20 The Barcelona Automatic Compass on fly bridge has an air bubble.
$
c.21 The E.P.I.R.B. battery replacement date was 9-2015.
$
C.23 The main engine temperature at WOT reached 194 degrees per digital gauge on fly bridge (at this point surveyor said to reduce rpms). Remove all coolers and heat exchangers from boat for a proper cleaning. Do not acid flush.
$
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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Well, I thnk that the statement "better than new" left the seller wide open for this situation, but I also think that the whole tone of that survey is to try to pry money from the seller, rather than provide a fair identification of issues. It is not the surveyor's place to say "seller shall repair.... or provide a reduction in the purchase price". It is his place to say what needs to be fixed, but I also don't think he did a good job of this either.

I agree that some in section 1 are significant and should be taken care of before a significant voyage, but some in section 2 are also significant, but also some in section 2 are picayune.

And I totally disagree with his statement that acid flushing should not be used. I am not even sure that those engines even have an overheating problem, given what was said in the survey. Removal and disassembly of all heat exchangers might be justified if there is indication of shell to tube leaks, or zincs and impeller pieces left behind, but in general acid flushing is a good way of removing scale and improving cooling without spending a ton of money on removal, disassembly and cleaning.

And finally if you expect a "better than new" boat from this deal, I would keep looking.

David
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
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It is a long list of minor items except #17 (generator temp) and #23 (engine temp). Those need to be addressed and can be quite expensive. I'd redo sea trial after these have been addressed.

The rest I'd consider owner maintenance items and ask for a small ($2k?) reduction.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:33 AM   #4
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Guess my response would be, what is the price range of this boat? If you expect to do nothing and have all the work done at yard labor rate prices, you're into the tens of thousands of dollars. If the boat is in the millions, you bring in all the trades and estimate each item. If the boat is in the sub half a million catagory, guess at how much less he's willing to take and make the offer.

As an example, a Deere dealer could bill thousands resolving the oil leaks depending on what they are. If you're loosing a few ounces between oil changes, how many thousands would you spend of your own money to resolve the problem? Cleaning the engine heat exchanger would be far higher on my list. That could run a thousand or more if in the cleaning process it develops leaks as a result of inadequate zinc protection (owner didn't change the pencil zincs in a timely manner ).

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Old 11-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Depending upon the size of boat the list is not large at all. I agree with David that the surveyor is not your broker so no idea why he chose to negotiate for you via his report. Not a lot there to be honest unless you don't own or use tools for much more than picture hanging(nothing wrong with that at all mind you).

Again, depends upon size, value and negotiated price but if you expect a "better than new boat"(unfortunate choice of words) let the seller make corrections and let surveyor verify.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
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Sea salt

I've a contrary view.

To properly get at costs one would have to engage a good yard. Was the boat out of the water for inspection? That is a long list and speaks poorly of current owner. What else is lurking.

Me, I'd walk. Unless of course you are looking for a DIY project boat.
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
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I'd get an estimate from a qualified yard, then utilize that information as I saw fit in negotiation.

I don't consider C17 and C23 to belong in the second list, but in the first. Not knowing the causes, both of those could be minor or major.

As others have said, not knowing the price or size or age of the boat much of this analysis is difficult. The part two items could be very insignificant compared to the total cost or very significant. However, the price of the boat might be so good that these items are very acceptable or it might be at the upper limits and all of these items need to be either fixed or adjusted for.

Did you get a separate engine survey? Oil sampling?
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Well, I thnk that the statement "better than new" left the seller wide open for this situation, but I also think that the whole tone of that survey is to try to pry money from the seller, rather than provide a fair identification of issues. It is not the surveyor's place to say "seller shall repair.... or provide a reduction in the purchase price". It is his place to say what needs to be fixed, but I also don't think he did a good job of this either David
The surveyor did not say "seller should repair..." I did based upon me taking a trip in a boat he said was not ready for sea. I would hate to explain this to my insurance company when it had a serious problem. When it is ready for my trip home I'll take it and get the rest fixed here.

The boat had an acid flush in July according to the service records provided me. It did not totally fix it. Acid will not flow through a totally blocked tube.

Oil analysis was normal.

This is a 52' boat in the $500,000 range.

Thanks for all the great comments
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:33 PM   #9
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I see a boat that has been neglected by its owner. Basic maintenance has not been done. Typically a commercial surveyor will find somewhere around half of what is wrong with a boat (imho).

I'd offer the owner half price and be prepared to spend the other half on the stuff listed (and also not listed) to bring the boat back to its "value."

I think you will have many unhappy surprises with this one which will cost you lots.
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:58 PM   #10
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With regard to C17 and C23, the surveyor is not an engine mechanic and I understand why he reduced power as the temperature climbed. He would have been on the hook if the engine overheated and got damaged.

An engine mechanic would have watched the engine closely for signs of overheat and only reduced power if the temp (real temp BTW, measured with an accurate IR gun) reached 200+.

Many engines run a real 195 deg F all day long at high power, and many helm temp gauges are off ten degrees.

These two issues are potentially the most expensive to fix, but potentially are nothing. If you are serious about the boat I would get an engine mechanic to look at these issues and if real, give you an estimate of what it would cost to fix them. But it will be a crap shoot. It could be as easy as a plugged strainer or it could take a total removal and cleaning job.

David
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #11
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A $500K vessel should not have a laundry list like you described. Once into this size and price range pristine condition should be expected.

A few years ago I was considering a similar sized and priced vessel. My concerns were not for shoddy upkeep (which so often is a bottomless pit) but upgrading electronics, new FB enclosure, get all servicing current, and redo carpets. $50Kto do it right and suitable for a vessel in this category.
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:35 PM   #12
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The boat clearly has been neglected but still might be a great boat for you. However, on a 52' boat, just replacing all the old hoses, the batteries, I would guess some of the hoses in the plumbing system as well. Then all the impellers most certainly, and all the batteries. Just the routine maintenance items that have not been done are substantial. Electronics are another issue. On top of that you still don't really know the condition of the engines or the generator. This is not to dissuade you from the boat, just to make sure you adequately consider and allow for the issues. I would estimate a minimum of $50k based on what is known at this time to get the boat all the way to good condition. That is assuming no major engine issue.
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:13 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. 007. Read post #11 again! I fully agree. $500K is NOT chump change. At least not to me.
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Old 11-27-2016, 02:44 PM   #14
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Section 2, B 1, Windlass. I had the same problem. Wiring issue. I fixed it for bout 10 dollars. B 3, Cruiseair, again same problem for me. New control panel, used. Cost, 150.00 for the part only. I replaced it myself. C 7, I bought a new stove. 500.00 again, replaced it myself.

I estimated about 20 grand to get it to my liking. So far I have put about 15 grand into it. Once I get her on the hard, I may completely have her painted. Not just her bottom. I have started a boat fund for all the maintenance and "emergencies" should one arise.

I have to tell you, 500,000.00 is a lot of money. I would absolutely keep looking around. At that price, I would expect it to be sea worthy.
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:39 PM   #15
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So...

I looked over the list, paying close attention to the details.

The list given by your surveyor includes some items that might be simple adjustments (like the PSS shaft seal)

An annual maintenance should be performed to replace the filters, and change out fluids.

Some of the engine stuff the surveyor mentioned he is not in my opinion qualified to discuss, or advise on. Thats what a mechanical survey is for. Even then things like the temp going high (which may or not be the case) can often be rectified with something as simple as an impeller change.

If it were me I would hire a qualified engine surveyor certified in that brand of engine and generator to evaluate those systems separately. Have them provide cost estimates.

It really just sounds to me like the boat has been sitting for a while.
If I had to ballpark it, from what you shared with us, and guessing high maybe 25-50K. I say that because little jobs add up in hours to troubleshoot quickly at $100 per hour for a skilled tech.

Remember that when you buy a boat, almost any boat you can expect a certain amount of fitting out that needs to be done. If you are buying a boat on the higher priced side for that particular model, then you should reasonably expect to pay less. If you are paying on the lower side price wise, there is a reason for that, and it would be reasonable to have to pay more.

Nothing in the survey would make me run away from the boat. They are all what I would call "little things".
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:38 PM   #16
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So...

Some of the engine stuff the surveyor mentioned he is not in my opinion qualified to discuss, or advise on. Thats what a mechanical survey is for. Even then things like the temp going high (which may or not be the case) can often be rectified with something as simple as an impeller change.

".
This particular surveyor was a highly experienced diesel mechanic before he decided he was getting too old to turn wrenches. He also did a few years as a boat yard manager for a high quality boat yard.

He used a ball of string analogy when we last talked. Once you tear into a project you never know what else you are going to find that must be fixed too. Obtaining a meaningful estimate for corrections is impossible due to the other issues that may be discovered during the correction process.

So...a few hours ago I notified the broker that I was still very much interested in the boat and would close once the seller corrected every recommendation to my satisfaction. I will not buy a boat that I have to start spending on from day one.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:49 PM   #17
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Advertising a boat as "better than new" virtually invites a post survey request to make the boat fit the advertised condition if it falls short. Resolving some of those defects could get expensive. I bet the advert writer thinks twice before using that phrase again.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #18
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Personnally if I would have been told that the boat is "better than new" it would make me nervous to get such a list of things to fix. Especially when better than new for the seller means not ready for sea for the surveyor! Like mentionned before I would tend to think that it is just the tip of the iceberg but I am not an expert surveyor.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:54 PM   #19
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Sounds like you and the surveyor are thinking clearly. It would seem the owner needs to follow the list whether to sell or keep it. It may yet come your way.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:55 PM   #20
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I will not buy a boat that I have to start spending on from day one.
Um, then I don't think you should buy a boat!
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