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Old 10-27-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Looked at a boat and have questions

Hello everyone
We just got finished looking over a boat and we have questions, First off the boat is a repo and is a 1989 Carver Californian 55'. The boat is a bit larger then what we wanted by 5-10'. It has low hours on the motors and looks like a new genset installed 16kw westerbeke. Some of the items needed is a new enclose for the fly bridge. It has all the aluminum ribs but the material and zippers are shot. Have no idea on the cost of a new enclose so anyone with knowledge for ruff figuring would be helpful. Needs to be scrubbed and waxed new carpet. New or used dinghy and motor. It will need some money spent in the engine room because the PO did not keep it up. Some teak will need to be refinished. The normal stuff due to neglect corrosion things like that. We know we will need a survey but first we need to make a bid and see if it is accepted.
The questions we have is the quality of the make. What might the burn rate be for this boat at 8 knots? Oh it has Detroit diesels with turbo not 671s. not sure as what type they are right now. What is a good figure to go by to have the boat pulled and I guess it should be pressure washed at the same time.
This boat is in our budget but others in our budget are too small. Maybe live aboard later on. Any questions just ask and we will try to answer.

Paul & Tracy
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
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Carvers are well-built production boats. I looked at a 50-footer and disliked all the stairs. Up a ladder to enter the boat, down steps to enter salon, down steps to galley, etc. a friend has a 35 footer and it is also filled with steps. We wanted a galley-up yacht with a large, open salon. Our Bayliner 4788 is perfect for us. Rob
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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If you like the boat, make an offer that you are comfortable with, if accepted, get a survey done. If you don't like the survey walk away.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
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We wanted a galley-up yacht with a large, open salon. Our Bayliner 4788 is perfect for us. Rob
I realize I'm hijacking this thread but I think, at 47-48', the Bayliner 4788 has the most "bang for the buck" than any other boat I've seen. Now, back to your regular scheduled program.

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Welcome Ebach

Sounds to me as though boat you are looking at has been considerably neglected. Most bang for the buck you may be able to accomplish is a "pre" survey by qualified surveyor to let you know if the boat is worth anywhere near asking price. Then, my suggestion, if the surveyor says the boat is at all tolerable/restorable is to begin by offering a really low price and see the owner's reaction. If your bid is accepted the same surveyor would be good to have do complete survey.

Best Luck...

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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Welcome Ebach

Sounds to me as though boat you are looking at has been considerably neglected. Most bang for the buck you may be able to accomplish is a "pre" survey by qualified surveyor to let you know if the boat is worth anywhere near asking price. Then, my suggestion, if the surveyor says the boat is at all tolerable/restorable is to begin by offering a really low price and see the owner's reaction. If your bid is accepted the same surveyor would be good to have do complete survey.

Best Luck...

Happy Boating Daze! Art
He can always renegotiate after the survey to cover the anticipated cost of repairs plus an additional percentage to cover "surprises".
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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Flybridge enclosure....in the $5-8k range.

Quick haul and pressure wash...around 5 bucks a foot in my neck of the woods.

If it is a repo then you are likely negotiating with a bank. If that means anything. If you can "see" through the grime and think the boat can be cleaned up. my starting point might be around half of what the boat would be worth in good condition. That is kind of a random idea but that is ultimately how I bought my boat. And if you saw my boat now and I told you what i paid for it, you would think I stole it. But in the end, I have dumped some pretty significant money into it so while I am still well ahead, not the deal of the century...although a good one still!!!
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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When you mean repo, does that mean the Bank still hold it? If so this may be helpful to you.

This past summer, I bought a 2000 45’ Carver just to play around on that was a repo by the Bank. The vessel was well kept so there was really not much to repair. With that said, the key in placing a bid to the bank is to let the bank make a few bucks, that they can live with. What I mean by that is this.

Let’s say, the Bank needs to recoup 50k to pay the balance off, you place a bid of 52k on the vessel, the Bank will take that bid. You do the survey. Now let’s say after the survey the vessel will need 1k of repairs. You make readjustment bid of 51K. The Bank will more than likely take that bid, just to clear it off their books. The way they see it, they have made money off the vessel by the loan payments that were made and plus they have recouped their investment, plus made 1K.

The trick is to really find out how much is owed on the vessel. If you can do that you can get the vessel at a lower cost than market price. If you can find out the last owner and get that info you will have a great chance.

As far as a Carver and being full time live aboard? I wouldn’t want to do it myself but that is me. Carver’s are play around vessels IMO.

Wakes and waves rock them greatly at lower speeds and from your question about fuel burn I am taking it that you would want to run slow and easy. I run mine at lower speeds because I am in no hurry. To cut down on the rocking when being passed (even by smaller vessels), I just simply cut into the wake. Even by doing that, the vessel is still rocking a great deal.

At higher speeds the vessel handles the wakes and waves better but the ride is not all that smooth. The fuel burn on Carver’s are pretty good from what I can tell. I really have not broken it down to see what I get GPH. I do know I filled the 300 gal tank and I have not had to refill it yet in 2 month of playing on the weekends, so I am guessing it is doing pretty good. But as we all know, there are many factors to fuel burn rates. Mine is gas so to try and give a number on GPH for a diesel would be a guess on my part, so I will not do it.

Is a Carver a good vessel? Yes for what it is. They are well built vessel and I know many Carver owners that are happy with them. I am happy with mine for what I do with it and plus I got it a great price. And I do mean a REALLY GREAT PRICE!

I guess the best thing anyone can tell you is this. Find a vessel that fits your needs. Do not fit your needs to the vessel.
I wish you all the best and I hope you find that vessel the fits your needs.

H. Foster.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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I don't know much about Carvers, but I do know that neglect and repo's go hand in hand. This is a big boat with many systems that have likely all been neglected for years. I would move on to the next one.

I would also like to second the 4788 if this is the type of boat you are looking at. They seem to be popular at my marina and no one seems to have a bad thing to say about them. I get the feeling you are searching for a "deal" so to speak and there is no such thing in boats. The well cared for ones are expensive to keep maintain and the neglected ones can break the bank. Your primary goal should be to find a well cared for boat that is being sold at a good price. I would run from any so called bargains as they are cheap for a reason. Also I don't believe the Carver has the same following as the larger Bayliners and if you are going to be doing a refit on an older boat then you don't want to disregard the support of fellow boaters such a those found on the Bayliners forums. Please don't try and stretch your budget to get the biggest you can afford this is asking for trouble.
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #10
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I also own a 1989 45 Californian. Same boat you are looking at minus the cockpit. Had the rear enclosure made for 5k, Probably about the same for a new top. If you have Detroits there are more than likely 6-71 Ti's or 6-71 Tib's 450Hp or 480Hp. The only other engines I have seen in these boats are Cat 3208 375HP.
As far as fuel burn, I have the 450 6-71's. 8 knots burning 7-8 gallons an hour total with the generator running, and at 14-16 kts about 18 gallons an hour. very good sea boat, heavyweights at 43,000 dry. That Detroit Iron low in the engine room makes for some nice ballast. Great for entertaining and plenty of room to stretch out. I got ours for a real good deal and I haven't had to put too much into it.
As far as woodwork and carpets those items are easy to stain and or replace and normal for a vessel of that vintage. I have had ours for 2 years and could not be happier.
I have been through my boat top to bottom ad may be able to help with any questions you have.

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Old 10-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Be very careful buying a boat needing a refit. The costs in time or money it both can very quickly take you over budget.

I have a very great condition 4788 I bought for $130k needing a repower and refit.

The refit exceeded my purchase price. Fortunately I was prepared for the cost, but if I had not been I would have ruin out of money quickly.

Then there's the resale. In today's market my boat would sell for around 225. Clearly the refit was not good economics, but I got the boat I wanted, so it worked out for us.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #12
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I don't know how much the boat was neglected until I have the survey is the way I look at it. I know the way I would take care of it but everyone is different. There is corrosion on the AC units and on other items in the engine room. Could this be normal wear and tear and just not followed up with. What I know and have figured out is the boat was not used a great deal seems like mostly for entertaining. The biggest item is dirty! It was under shrink wrap where it was found in NJ sitting at a dock. I am not sure how long it sat like that but looks like a year or so. It was brought back to MD under its own power. I was told one turbo had to be rebuilt due to it lagging. Not sure what lagging means besides not spinning fast enough. One engine putting out more power then the other. The boat was listed for a dollar amount for suggested starting bid. The broker/repo company told me the bank would take a bid 10k less. We were looking more at another 10-15k less and see what the counter offer is. Big boats are not selling to fast right now and it is a buyers market. All they can say is no and then we will go from there.

Wow I did not think the FB enclosure would be that high, I was figuring 2-5k. I could not remember what we paid last time we replaced on our other boat which was smaller.

Something this size and weight will rock with small boats wakes? I never would have thought that. We have thought about other boats that would prob be more stable but they are out of or price range. This boat if they counter we have wiggle room and then a nice pot of money waiting for the repairs and cleaning etc... We do a lot of the work ourselves to so that helps. We are not pushing our budget or trying to get the deal of the century we just want to be able to get a larger boat for a decent price.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:54 PM   #13
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Ebach, "turbo lag" is delay before the turbocharger kicks in and powers up the engine.
I think you are on the right track for negotiation. Whatever price you agree, like the actual purchase itself, should be "subject to survey". Though I think where the boat clearly needs work, the renegotiate position is less strong than when the seller promotes the boat as "turn key".
Theoretically, a lender has an obligation to get the best price it can, it has a duty to its borrower. Reality is probably different.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #14
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Ebach,

I would also make a pitch for considering a PO that is thoughtful and has taken care of the vessel. With the bank owned stuff you really do not know. Our boat was owned by a very knowledgeable PO and he has been very approachable after the purchase to learn details and for help after the purchase. We beat him up pretty well on price but ultimately lived with a few things to have him save face. He repaid that with knowledge and help after the purchase that was very important. I still find things on the boat after 2 years that he left behind like specialized tools that he bought or made to solve a problem. Having that knowledge is worth a lot! A good example is this little cap thing that I found hanging on one side of the engine room. Turns out it was a specialized filler to top off the batteries in a very hard to reach location. I would have figured it out but on these older boats it is not like you have an owners manual that details everything. You really have to put that together yourself sometimes!

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #15
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Per your earlier post....just remember to keep in mind that it is indeed a buyers market right now and there are plenty of boats out there. I think looking is half the fun and in past when I have completed a boat purchase it is always with some sadness that the search is over. It sounds like you have the rose colored glasses off and will be proceeding carefully. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 10-28-2013, 12:25 AM   #16
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Ebach, I would also make a pitch for considering a PO that is thoughtful and has taken care of the vessel. With the bank owned stuff you really do not know. Our boat was owned by a very knowledgeable PO and he has been very approachable after the purchase to learn details and for help after the purchase. We beat him up pretty well on price but ultimately lived with a few things to have him save face. He repaid that with knowledge and help after the purchase that was very important. I still find things on the boat after 2 years that he left behind like specialized tools that he bought or made to solve a problem. Having that knowledge is worth a lot! A good example is this little cap thing that I found hanging on one side of the engine room. Turns out it was a specialized filler to top off the batteries in a very hard to reach location. I would have figured it out but on these older boats it is not like you have an owners manual that details everything. You really have to put that together yourself sometimes! Good luck and have fun!
Great post 6-Pack and it mirrors our experience quite well. In the year we've owned our boat the extremely knowledgable previous owner has been our greatest asset and a truly wonderful friend.

I cannot imagine how much time and money we would have spent figuring out minor issues that where cleared up with a phone call. And our boat is a whole heck of a lot less complex than a 55'er. But hey, if you have the systems experience and desire to pull it off go for it. Just have a good reserve for contingencies is my only advice.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:09 AM   #17
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Ebach-on SMOH, on today's diesels, few, if any of us will every own a boat long enough, or ru it often enough, to be concerned about when a major overhaul might become necessary. I know with our JD's, 6068TFM, 154 HP, JD has told me 12-15,000 hours with normal maintenance. Most folks here probably are in the 100-250 hour per year range. That is a lot of years before an overhaul. As to used engines, about the best you can do, rather than rely on any general data about a brand, is to have a complete engine survey done and get an idea from the surveyor on any such need for those specific engines.

As to buying a repo, as was stated, a lender does, in theory, have an obligation to the owner to get as much as possible from a repo'd asset. That said, the bank has no interest in owning a boat, nor does it have any interest in paying to own a rep'o boat an longer than necessary. I disagree that you need to consider what is owed on the original loan. Banks routinely sell non-perfoming loans for deep discounts. I have an acquaintance who buys such loans, often for as low as 20-25% of the face value, but generally in the 45-60% range. All a bank wants to do is to get the non-performing loan off its books as cheaply as possible.

Decide what the boat is worth to you, make an offer contingent on both boat and engine survey and go for it.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:55 AM   #18
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When a bank or marina repossesses a boat they are required to get an independent third party appraisal as part of their due diligence as any monies recovered over the outstanding loan (& expenses) amount must be returned to the debtor. I do these appraisals for all the banks in Ontario.

As has been said by others the banks are not in the business of owning boats and want them off the books as fast as possible but they have to show they tried to get as much as possible in case the debtor comes after them.

Unless you go in at their suggested opening offer, they will almost always reject a first offer, but that's not the end. Rejecting the first offer is just to show that they are trying to get as much as possible. if the boat sits around for another 30days with no other offers they will call you back and ask you to try again. If they have two or more offers they will call back and encourage a new bid.

NADA Appraisal Guide (online) will show you a high-low value. NADA tends to be a little low on boats in Texas (lowest price market) and extremely low on west coast values so you have to do a little adjusting for market variables depending on location. You also have to consider other factors like ... Michigan has as many boats as Florida but nobody has a job so banks there are a little more desperate to sell. I have found that bigger repo boats in average condition generally sell for about 15-20% lower than the low NADA value although I have seen a few plums go for a fraction of that number.

Don't be afraid to low ball, The banks don't take offence the way private sellers do.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:39 AM   #19
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I have surveyed a few of the Californians and observed a few post survey. A substantial money item that has required repair on several is the aft centerline fuel tank. It is mounted at or near the hull bottom in the aft cabin and fails from corrosion. I wouldn't go as far as to say it is inevitable but if a boat has a history of standing bilge water in the aft cabin area it should be a concern. Aft berth, water tank and aft cabin deck have to come out to replace it.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #20
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Ebach - I repeat, similar to my post # 5...

Sounds to me as though boat you are looking at has (may have) been considerably (harmfully) neglected. Most bang for the buck $$$ you may be able to (could) accomplish is a "pre" survey by qualified surveyor (one with proven references) to let you know if the boat is worth anywhere near asking price (worth bidding on at all). For just an hour +/- effort a good surveyor knows a boat's basic composition, and therefore its basic value. The big survey dollars will happen once (if) your bid is accepted by the bank. Be careful to put plenty of "back out" contingencies in contract with bank - "pre" survey surveyor should be able to guide you on that matter. If this deal does not work Ė thereís another good deal around the corner.


Then, my suggestion, if the surveyor says the boat is at all tolerable/restorable is to begin by offering a really low price and see the owner's (bank's) reaction. If your bid is accepted the same surveyor would be good to have do complete survey.

Best Luck... Let us know outcome!


Happy Boating Daze! - Art
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