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Old 07-05-2017, 10:30 PM   #1
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How does the boat buying process work?

I forum searched boat buying process because I thought this topic has probably already been covered, but I didn't see anything.

It appears that the convention is:
1. View the boat.
2. Make an offer.
3. Pay to have boat hauled, surveyed, and sea trialed
4. Attempt to renegotiate based on the finding of the above, or walk away losing the price of the haul, survey and sea trial.

It seems like I will be about $1000 into the deal before I know what I am actually offering to buy.

Presumably the owner knows the status of the boat, would it be unreasonable to ask him to disclose any known defects, if I stipulated that the disclosed defects would not become a basis for the second round of negotiation? Or would that be futile or wildly unusual to suggest?

When you guys made your offers, did you assume the boat was gong to survey fine, so you didn't mind making that kind of commitment?

If this has already been covered, could someone kindly point me to that thread?

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:05 PM   #2
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Frank, the offer should be contingent on the survey and sea trial in writting. The seller may have a recent survey ( not older than 6 months ) that might be offered and MIGHT be acceptable by a buyer. I would avoid any verbal assurances by the seller or broker unless they are in writting. Sellers maintenance log, receipts for recent purchases and upgrades are always good information, a lack of to me is a red flag. Visual signs of poor maintenance and up keep also ends any buying impulse for me.
Walking away after paying for surveys and haulout may be the best money ever spent in boat buying.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:17 PM   #3
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ANY used boat, be it one month old (unless the warranties are still current based on what the boat has been through), or 30 years old, get a survey.

Yes you may lose a thousand, heck even two or three thousand.

And maybe a few times over.

But you will avoid the money pit boat and heartache of having a boat you have paid for and cannot use.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:20 PM   #4
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Frank, after 2 (make offer) usually comes argument about offer/counter offer/counter offer etc > Agreed Price subject to Survey and Sea Trial.
You could ask the seller to disclose known defects but don`t rely on it, except as a negotiating tool when other defects emerge.
Assume the survey will be as much a discovery as a confirmation process. "Subject to Survey and Sea Trial" largely makes you an option holder,something is likely to emerge which forms a basis to withdraw following those steps.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:34 PM   #5
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Often a survey will uncover defects that the seller was honestly not aware of.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:04 AM   #6
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If you're unhappy throwing a few thousand into a boat-shaped hole in the water with nothing to show for it, stick to the occasional charter
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f508 View Post

It appears that the convention is:

1. View the boat.

2. Make an offer.

3. Pay to have boat hauled, surveyed, and sea trialed

4. Attempt to renegotiate based on the finding of the above, or walk away losing the price of the haul, survey and sea trial.



It seems like I will be about $1000 into the deal before I know what I am actually offering to buy.



Presumably the owner knows the status of the boat, would it be unreasonable to ask him to disclose any known defects, if I stipulated that the disclosed defects would not become a basis for the second round of negotiation? Or would that be futile or wildly unusual to suggest?



When you guys made your offers, did you assume the boat was gong to survey fine, so you didn't mind making that kind of commitment?

Welcome Frank.

You have it about right, but you can negotiate an offer even before you have viewed the boat (I did on one boat). You do more than make an offer, you negotiate a purchase agreement with the seller subject to satisfactory survey and sea trial. At this point you have agreed to buy the boat unless the survey and sea trial find something that wasn't disclosed in the boat description. At that point the negotiated sale is dead. You can make another offer and renegotiate if you still want the boat and the seller may agree or not.

The point is that you need to be sure that if the boat is as you expect it to be, you want to buy that boat. The expense of survey will be more than $1000, closer to $2,000 depending on your area.

The broker needs to disclose any known defects in the boat to you as a buyer. As others have mentioned, you or the surveyor will spot defects that the seller either isn't aware of or has simply become blind to over the length of ownership.

The cost of a survey will be one of your least expensive parts of boating and could save you a ton.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
ANY used boat, be it one month old (unless the warranties are still current based on what the boat has been through), or 30 years old, get a survey.

Yes you may lose a thousand, heck even two or three thousand.

And maybe a few times over.

But you will avoid the money pit boat and heartache of having a boat you have paid for and cannot use.
A survey may or may not be needed, and it's certainly NO guarantee that will avoid a money pit. It's no guarantee of anything, and you can do a large part of it yourself, if you know anything about boats.

But a survey will most likely find something wrong that neither the buyer or seller knew about. It may or may not be a big ticket item.

A good engine mechanic or electrician may be equally as important as a surveyor.

Yes, there is a cost for just shopping.

I prefer to:

Talk with the seller, perhaps a few times and have records send with specs and maintenance.
See the boat and do a sea trial (which I would pay for)
Make an offer subject to inspections of my choosing
Inspect
Pay and boat away.... or renegotiate or walk.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:30 AM   #9
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Survey - lost money ? --- Good investment in your future boating - NOT this boat !

Here is my opinion of how it goes. #1 - If you can't afford the money for the survey & it bothers you that it is lost money, then you don't have the personality to be a boat owner.

No, the surveys is not lost money, your paying for information, if it shows you issues that would have cost you a lot to fix - it saved you money.
It is an investment in your future boating - not in the boat you pass on.

You view the boat, maybe come back a second time with a friend & spend an afternoon really checking the boat out. You, with this initial info work out a fair offer of what you think the boat is worth. Evaluate how far apart you are from the asking price. If the gap is to big, it may be time to just walk away now.

They if you really want this one, then you make an offer & be sure any & all offers are contingent on Haul out, survey, discovery, etc....

Your offer now is the initial offer, strictly a starting point -- is based on your appraisal of the boat, What you can afford, condition, etc. --
it usually is almost always met with a counter offer, then you may or may not counter the counter offer, if still interested in the boat at this new price point, etc..... it is a negotiated buy/sell price that you two come to.

You need to be prepared to buy at this price if the survey is ok & such.

Then once that is settled - then the haul out & survey, etc occur at your expense ........-- Your paying for information -- which is the cheapest expense you will ever have with your boat.

Now you find out the total picture. --- be prepared to walk away !

Once you have the survey in hand & have spent a couple days going through it in detail, calling around for estimates, etc.. then armed with this info you go to them & say ---- it needs this & that, & tender a revised offer based on this new information which is now $ XX, XXX. deducted off my offer before the survey.

Then of they say no, we are not coming down that far, they may tender a counter to you revised offer. They usually don't come down a lot, so decide your bottom line & see how close you get to it.

No boat is perfect, so it depends in how you feel about the boat, how bad you want this exact boat, etc... -- There are a lot of boats & zillions of them are for sale.

You evaluate your top price & decide how much you can compromise. You decide what imperfections you can live with, etc.

Again, be prepared to walk away if it goes over your dollar budget.

Boats can be a bottomless pit for time & money & you are protecting your self from getting a money pit. There are a lot of them out there. There are Boats with issues so bad you can't get anyone to buy it & not able to use it either. Better to walk away from a money pit & the survey is your key to that information.

Buyer beware.

Good luck.

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Old 07-06-2017, 12:38 AM   #10
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Frank - here's an example in my experience:

I found a local broker, he spent some time with me and he clearly knew boats. And he understood what I wanted. Good rapport and trust factor between us.
So I identified a boat I thought I wanted. My broker was...less than enthusiastic about the boat - not just the specific one but he didn't think it was the right design, size, etc for me, just from what he knew.
But...we pulled it out of the water for a bottom inspection. I think that was about $250 through his relationship with a yard.
As it came out of the water it was obvious that the hull had a lot of blisters. (Very expensive to repair)

He and I talked, and I told the yard right then, drop it back in...it's a no go. No further inspection needed.

He called me a few days later and said, "I found your boat. Come see it." He was right - we went through the same process plus full survey, counter-offers, and I bought it. Love the boat.

I guess what I'm saying is that the steps you and HiDHo mentioned are all accurate. But for me, the important thing was my broker. I'm an experienced boater - I'd say "above average" in terms of knowledge, brands, etc.. But he knew more than I did and his counsel was invaluable.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:42 AM   #11
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Although "make an offer" can come after an initial inspection, then final offer after survey.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:07 AM   #12
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If you are worried about paying for multiple surveys and then turning down those boats for one reason or another and losing that money, you may wish to invest in a moisture meter. That's what I did. I have an Aquant Protimeter. This is not used for looking at specific values, but for comparing the values of adjacent areas such as under windows or near doors, or around fittings outside of the vessel. If you get too picky, you may end up passing on otherwise acceptable boats. But, you can also find some boats that look nice, but have areas of rot hidden under fresh layers of paint. Saving the cost of just one failed survey can more than pay for a moisture meter. And, the meter has value post sale also. You can keep an eye on different areas of your boat to see which areas might need addressing sooner rather than later, such as recaulking around your windless, rebedding something, etc.

Doing this in front of the broker can help with negotiating a price as you can show them the same issues you may be seeing. If they pass that information on to the owner, it may help in getting acceptance of a lower offer. This foreknowledge may help, too, when it comes to survey time, possibly reducing the surprise factor for both parties.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:49 AM   #13
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Find the boat
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker someone picks up the phone and informs broker is on holidays and I should ring back next week
Ring back in 7 days speak to broker broker has forgotten what boat Im talking about but will ring back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring broker and he tell me boat is 600km away and there's no one to show the boat he will ring me when he finds someone local
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back

10 days later Broker rings to see if Im still interested LOL
My question to broker are the photos resent ?? Broker NO I think they were taken when new should get resent photos soon

10 days Later
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back
Ring the broker leave a message to call back.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:11 AM   #14
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I don't know why, but I get the feeling you're getting frustrated Gaston. Where are you, and where is the boat, as a matter of interest? Could you not get hold of the owner somehow, and possible arrange to look at the boat yourself, to see if worth pursuing, as a Selene is not to be sneezed at. And just say bugger the broker - he deserves to lose the sale.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f508 View Post
It appears that the convention is:
1. View the boat.
2. Make an offer.
3. Pay to have boat hauled, surveyed, and sea trialed
4. Attempt to renegotiate based on the finding of the above, or walk away losing the price of the haul, survey and sea trial.

Your first step, here, can be preceded by some additional research... and then VIEW THE BOAT can become a very effective filter right up front.

Once you've identified a candidate, find listings for all other sisterships (assuming there are some)... and do some comparisons about fit, finish, age, equipment, systems, etc. If you're working with a buyer's broker, you can also review recent sales for the same model, compare selling prices, etc. Know the market.

Once you're ready to VIEW THE BOAT, do your own survey. Don't just walk around making sure the beds are made and the galley is wherever the listing says it is (up, down, whatever), that it's actually floating...

Instead, make you own evaluation of over-all condition, what systems work, what systems don't work and need repair or replacement, what access will be like to repair or replace systems (ACs, water pumps, etc.). In other words, get out your own fine tooth comb and go over every inch of the boat. Take a bud, or your buyer's broker, if you need more eyes or more insight.

And then... imagine yourself using the boat. Imagine getting ready for bed. Imagine cooking a meal. Imagine making/serving cocktails. Imagine relaxing with a book. Imagine watching "the game" on TV. Imagine launching the dinghy and taking the dog to shore. Imagine anchoring. Imagine doing an oil and filter change. And so forth.

The first part -- your survey -- is about whether the boat works. The second part is about whether the boat will really work FOR YOU.

Your initial offer should then be consistent with the overall market AND the condition and suitability of that particular example of that boat model... subject to surveys... and it should take into account the cost of things that you have identified as needing repair or replacement, some of the modifications you think you might have to make, etc.

And then the eventual paid marine and mechanical surveys may find some things you didn't or couldn't anticipate with just a visual examination... for further negotiation with the seller.

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Old 07-06-2017, 07:02 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. 508. The FIRST thing I do/did after the initial determinations of style/make/model/price etc of ANY vessel is look at the mechanical areas (ER, bilges, behind dashboards etc.). It is MY opinion that attention to detail and maintenance in those areas is the best indication of the overall condition of the boat.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:18 AM   #17
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It seems like I will be about $1000 into the deal before I know what I am actually offering to buy.
Yeah, you can look at it that way.

In this regard, it is exactly like buying a house. You make an offer, then you get the home inspected. If something unexpected turns up you either renegotiate or you walk away. Either way, you have already paid for the inspection and ya ain't gonna get that money back.

The only difference is that in boat buying we call it a "survey" instead of an "inspection." You spend a little bit in order to, potentially, save yourself a lot.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:17 AM   #18
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Great thread, I am currently assisting a friend on the sale of his boat. It is a very popular brand bluewater trawler. He listed it at a very fair market price and it had a offer in the first day .. full price. The prospective buyer went the normal route, sea trial, surveys, then revised the offer down almost $ 25k.

90% of the items the prospective listed as reason to lower the price are either maintenance ( but the service is up to date at about 25% of the service life ) and making some changes to the boat that are personal preference items and have nothing to do with the value of the boat what so ever. Of course the two brokers are pushing the current owner to settle.. they have a quick sale at hand and want to do as little as possible. The owner did list the boat for a very fair price and he is currently going through a health issue that he should of NEVER mentioned to his broker as the broker is using that to push him to settle.
I have suggested he lower his price to account for the very few minor items on the survey and tell the brokers to go pound sand.. I have absolutely no faith in his listing broker.. I really feel he has done nothing as the boat is in great shape and really sells it's self. Personally if it was my boat I would pull the boat from the listing broker and either self advertise the boat or hold off and relist with a much better broker that is willing to actually do something.. he didn't even do a proper listing on Y World just a couple pics with a " more pics to follow" line.

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Old 07-06-2017, 01:14 PM   #19
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If the boat is for 30,000, buy it for 20,000 - that way you have money to fix it plus sale taxes. Solid glass or cored hull - if cored hull then you will need the survey for sure. I purchase my boat, because of amount of work the previous owner put into it. Buying a boat it is roulette even with survey.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:56 PM   #20
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When you make your offer you can request a personal sea trial prior to the official survey and sea trial. A test ride after you have a written agreement and a deposit paid, but prior to the expense of haul and survey.
During this test run ask the seller to run the boat at different RPM and watch the engine gauges, run at wide open throttle for a few minutes and check engine temperature, slow to idle and then accelerate and see how much smoke is produced, test electronics, lights , windlass, generator with full load and more.
You can read up on what a survey will look for and ask to see it yourself. You do not need to be an expert to find out if an engine overheats or if there are bad vibrations, or other obvious flaws.
I repeat, do this after a written agreement and with a deposit so the seller does not consider this just a joy ride for you.
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