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Old 04-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #61
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In general:

Due to all sorts of weather conditions (some locations worse than others), stresses and other deteriorating factors while sitting at dock or cruising in water (fresh or salt), and basic neglect if resting on the hard for too long (like years on end)... in the boating world (pleasure or commercial) the term "Bullet Proof" is similar to the term "Forever Lasting"; just not available.

When purchasing a used boat I take the following into account (I don’t buy new – immediate depreciation is way too steep):

1. Asking price – Too high... I say good bye!
2. Make of boat – There are good builders and there are OK builders, bad builders, and terrible builders – too big a “brand-name” topic to get into here!
3. Overall condition of boat at first blush... if there are important items that look or are bad then depending on asking price I may turn and walk away
4. Number of hours on boat’s specific type of engines, drive line, and genset – too high... good bye!
5. Condition of electrical portions throughout boat – big factor for either a walk away of severe price reduction bargaining
6. PO’s care and record keeping on items accomplished for years past and importantly within the last two to four years
7. If I get that far and still interested – I perform personal survey with moisture meter, galvanization meter, probing tools etc. Takes 4 to 8 hours
8. If I get that far and still interested – I have qualified marine surveyor to perform at least a preliminary, and maybe a full survey – costly but well worth a qualified 2nd opinion
9. If I get that far and still interested – I take the boat on sea trial with qualified marine mechanic aboard checking every mechanical portion
10. If I get that far and still interested – I have her hauled (unless of course she was on the hard from beginning) and do complete survey of her bottom and U/W drive components
11. If I get that far and decide I want the boat – I do my best to cut a good deal on price of boat with owner or broker. If my already silently decided price cannot be met then I wait till boat has not sold for a while and may reoffer my purchase price, or I simply walk away. Patience and directness of decision is required in purchasing a boat.

Important – Do Not fall in love with a boat before purchase... that can cloud your judgment on any or all portions of the deal. You’ve plenty of time to play kisses and hugs to your “new” family member after you’ve made the best possible review of boat and accomplished the price deal you wanted. Also, be sure you have defined the type of boat and layout before even beginning your search for the “right one”

I recommend cash payment – usually enables the buyer to get a better price deal.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #62
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I think you're off the mark on a number of things Art but over-all good.
An engine that has 4 to 6000 hrs is not as much of a red flag as one that has 700. You may be thinking about gas engines as that's your world. If I was looking at a boat w Lehmans and 6000 hrs and knew they had the kind of maintenance that Marin gives his I wouldn't hesitate to look farther. It's like miles on a car ........ what kind of miles and w what kind of care. But in your defense what kind of care isn't always real clear but things like a meticulous engine log book showing signs of age is a start.

I think you've overstated the good boat bad boat brand thing by a wide margin. I think it's closer to thinking there's no such thing as a bad boat. It's nice to know the chronic issues of the boat you're looking at though. I'd like to know what boats you think are "bad boats" and "terrible boats". Please don't post them on the forum though.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
I think you're off the mark on a number of things Art but over-all good.
An engine that has 4 to 6000 hrs is not as much of a red flag as one that has 700. You may be thinking about gas engines as that's your world. If I was looking at a boat w Lehmans and 6000 hrs and knew they had the kind of maintenance that Marin gives his I wouldn't hesitate to look farther. It's like miles on a car ........ what kind of miles and w what kind of care. But in your defense what kind of care isn't always real clear but things like a meticulous engine log book showing signs of age is a start.

I think you've overstated the good boat bad boat brand thing by a wide margin. I think it's closer to thinking there's no such thing as a bad boat. It's nice to know the chronic issues of the boat you're looking at though. I'd like to know what boats you think are "bad boats" and "terrible boats". Please don't post them on the forum though.
Eric - I understand and appreciate/concur with what you say in first paragraph.

Re the Bad Boat Brand thing I mentioned... You're Correct... guess I stepped on my (you fill in the blank) and went a bit too far there. There probably ain't any really "Bad" boat builders... what I was visualizing when writing that portion were boat brands that seem to simply fall apart more readily over time. End-All is not so much the builder of a boat but rather the way a used boat (of any brand) has been cared for by its owner(s).
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:06 PM   #64
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Where there will be a big difference between boat brands is in the materials and construction techniques that were used. While all boats have to meet some minimum standards regarding safety, if you're building to a strict price point like the lower end of the market does (smaller boats, entry-level boats)--- Bayliner, Sea Ray, etc.--- you will have to use less expensive materials, methods, and labor. Otherwise you cannot price the boat competitively.

For the higher end of the boat market there is still plenty of price competition so there is still a degree of economizing. Some makers economize more than others, which is reflected in the price of the boat when it's new.

Where the difference shows up is later, particularly if the boat is neglected or somewhat neglected in terms of upkeep. A boat with less than stellar materials or manufacturing processes will deteriorate or have problems sooner than one that was built with top-notch materials and processes given the same degree of neglect.

Which is why boats like Grand Banks, Willard, Hatteras, etc. have good reputations. They will "hold up" under deferred or neglected upkeep longer than makes that did not utilize the same quality of materials or construction.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Which is why boats like Grand Banks, Willard, Hatteras, etc. have good reputations. They will "hold up" under deferred or neglected upkeep longer than makes that did not utilize the same quality of materials or construction.
Gee Whiz Marin... Ya couda mentioned classic Tollycrafts too, ya know! - Only kidden! Everyone already knows how great Tollys are!!

That is as long as each Tolly boat is correctly kept up over the years/decades by its owners...

I recently visited a Tolly that had been trashed and was ready to be cut up. I also visited a Grand Banks woody couple months ago that although not trashed by its long time (now deceased) owner would have been a losing proposition to restore - can we spell ROT!

In any good quality brand of older classic boat it always comes down to the amount of ongoing care provided by the owner(s) - period!
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:12 PM   #66
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I bought a project boat because that is what I wanted.

I made my search hard because I wanted a particular project boat - a DeFever PassageMaker 40 built by Jensen Marine in Costa Mesa CA.

There were 132 of them made, and at any given time there would be 2 or 3 on Yachtworld.

I looked at dozens of boats, but none of them were projects. I had visited a broker in Charleston SC (one of dozens on the east coast) and told him what I wanted But he couldn’t help me.

About a year later I got a call from that same broker “ I found your boat. It’s kept at a private residence, and has not been listed since the listing expired 4 years ago.”

Originally listed for $110. Seller turned down $100. 6 months later seller accepts $90, boat fails survey. Three months later seller again excepts 90, boat fails survey. 6 months later seller accepts $80, boat fails survey. This marks the end of sellers active search for a buyer. 3 different surveyors fail it for the same reason - improperly installed flybridge done by seller using his yacht club small boat davit..

Seller falls ill, and can no longer walk out the 250 ft dock to the boat. Some time later sellers son in law walks out to the boat and opens everything up, hatches ports, sliding windows, everything to air out the musty smell.

Son in law returns to his out of state residence. Seller can not see the boat directly from inside his house and never goes outside. He lives alone in a rural area of a SC sea island. No nearby neighbors.

Boat sits wide open for a year and a half. Broker says to me “The interior is ruined in all three cabins but that’s what you want, right?

I tell the broker to offer $20, and that I will go to $25 if he balks. Broker agrees to $25 ( who didn’t see that coming?)

Drive up the next day to see what I bought. Perfect!

Truck boat to Fl. Lease a 15 CU Yard dumpster and go inside with my chainsaw.

Spent the next 2 years building a entirely new boat in a old hull. 2 of the most enjoyable years of my life. Wise decision? No. To this day only my wife knows how much money I spent, and I’ve never asked her. North of a $100 above the purchase price I’ll bet.

Sold our house and were full time cruisers for six years. Saved my butt, we missed the housing crash.

While we no longer live aboard I still have the boat. Planning this summers cruise now. Most likely Erie canal and the Chesapeake.

Mike
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:39 PM   #67
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Mike - Damn good story! Congrats and get it on!
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