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Old 02-13-2016, 04:37 PM   #41
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Small claims in Ontario $25,000 max.
Last time I sued someone (3yrs. ago), filing fee was $85.00
Province is currently considering increasing max claim to $100k

Going after the surveyor is a waste of time, not because of his"disclaimer" (which rarely stands up in court) but because he had no contract with you.
Never, never, never buy a boat on an existing survey !

Next time you buy a boat consider Preparing For Survey .... see item #10
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:41 PM   #42
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In 2010, Ontairo raised its small claims jurisdiction to $25000 (Canadian). In BC, by 2010 we were trying to raise the limit from$25k to $100k, but so far, it hasn't happened.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:49 PM   #43
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In 2010, Ontairo raised its small claims jurisdiction to $25000 (Canadian). In BC, by 2010 we were trying to raise the limit from$25k to $100k, but so far, it hasn't happened.
Yes, sm claims limits vary by jurisdiction. I'm a court administrator in South Dakota, $12,000 here. Well, to be precise, you can sue for a million dollars in small claims but can only recover $12k here.
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:03 PM   #44
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You'd have a very difficult time overcoming the "as is...where is" contract. To do so, you would have to prove that it was fraudulently represented to you. You'd have to show where, in writing, they told you the holding tank was working. You'd have to prove they knew the tank was not the size represented in writing. The burden of proof is very high. I can't imagine it would be worth the time and effort unless the repairs are far more than I think they are. You state in your original post several times "I believe." Well, what you believe doesn't matter in court, it's what you can prove.

As stated above, you have no claim against the surveyor. As to the broker, had he known the holding tank issues, do you really think he would have filled it on the way there? I'm thinking it was a bad shock to him as well.

I've never sued personally and never been sued and hope to keep it that way. In business I pretty much avoided litigation.

Suing is often an act of trying to shift blame away from oneself to someone else. In this case, of trying to say the fact you have these problems is because someone committed fraud against you. That doesn't help you in future situations. Understanding what you did wrong, thinking of how you could have avoided the problems and how you can better protect yourself next time is far more productive.

Then also ask yourself this question. Had you known what you know now would you have still bought the boat? I'm hoping the answer is "yes." Get it repaired and enjoy.
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:52 PM   #45
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Peggy has been on here regularly the last few weeks, ask her about a stainless holding tank?
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:55 PM   #46
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Peggy has been on here regularly the last few weeks, ask her about a stainless holding tank?


I had 40yo SS holding tanks on my old boat and they were as good as new please tell more !
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:06 PM   #47
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Stainless done correctly isn't a problem...but sure can be when done wrong.
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #48
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Ex...

I can understand the frustration and find it hard to believe owner was not aware of at least some of the issues...
I you have the time and access to small claims court in Canada what's to lose other than some of your time (in NY small claims no lawyer is req'd so you present your case)

You may find that the threat of the case or the inconvenience to the owner / broker will convince them to try to settle??

Worth checking out if your situation allows the time.
If you go ahead - May be worth some "investigating" on your own - how often / long the owner was aboard - was the marine / boat yard they dealt with aware of any issues - .

I had a few similar issues when I bought our current boat but was fortunate to catch most in my own (3 day) inspection and negotiated w/ owner for $.

Good luck - let us know what you decide and how it ends up
IMHO - The purchaser's self-inspection is the most important one (in agreement with the bold sentence above). Other inspections should also be made by professional marine and mechanical inspectors. Both heads in our Tollycraft needed improvements. I got reduction in price that enabled me to have marine sanitation expert perform all repairs/improvements.

I practice and believe in self-inspections!
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:57 PM   #49
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For starters, the same size poly tank would cost about 10% as much as a custom built SS tank. A good purpose built poly waste tank will have no issues,,ever. Theres a lot of ifs and expense with metal. Doesnt make cents.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:33 PM   #50
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My advice is, if those are the ONLY problems, thus far and you love the boat, - enjoy it and move on. If there are other significant issues then you may have reason to pursue other options. When I bought mine there were after the purchase items that came up and I also compromised on issues that the seller would not acquiesce to at sale because I wanted this boat. I'm glad that I did. Seventeen years of joy when I am aboard have made me so glad that I have her and those experiences aboard her that I can not put a price on. Boats can be (are) complicated and even emotional. Don't know if this helps; but, it is just my opinion.

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Old 02-13-2016, 10:06 PM   #51
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Lots of good advice to push on and I agree. The first mistake was not hiring a surveyor your self and an engine surveyor. Relying on the past survey may have seem like you were saving a few bucks, but as the lesson is learned, it cost you.


Let's assume you do go to court and you are holding the broker responsible. What is your PROOF that he actually knew about it at the time of the sale of these issues?


Press on and chalk it up as they got me, and get your boat in shape for the up coming cruise season.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:15 AM   #52
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I suspect your seller was tricky. Who would suspect and test for a cracked sewage tank in the absence of some indicator of problems? Not you, and not a lot of others.
Absence of privity of contract between you and the surveyor is a big problem,though there are cases here based on cases in the UK(well there were before I retired) if A as an expert gives gratuitous advice to B knowing B will rely on it, A has a problem.
I suspect recovery is all too difficult.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:47 PM   #53
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As far as the holding tank problem I bought a 24' express cruiser 16 years ago. It had the poly holding tank mounted where it was clearly visible while checking anything on the engine, the tank had never been used in 12 years by the previous owners. I can't believe a owner wouldn't repair that problem if they were aware of it.


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Old 02-14-2016, 03:35 PM   #54
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I would say to just move on... We, of course, had a complete survey done on our new boat and some pretty large (sinking) items were missed... and I even suspect the PO knew about a couple of them. Still, while I hired the best surveyor in the area, I also understand that boats are what boats are. I don't really expect a complete stranger to step on an unknown vessel and catch everything, and in addition, be liable for finding it all. Nobody would ever do it for a living if that was the case. They get us as far as they can. It's up to us to take the next step. I have spent many thousands on our boat already and we have only had it for six months. It's a bummer, but I am happy everything is fixed earlier and in the manner *I* chose.

Intent of deception is extremely hard to prove. Hate it for you. But it's all good now!
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:38 AM   #55
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I'm on my phone so I can't see the signatures, but if one party is Canadian and one party is American and the deal was done in the US, the US party could probably have the case kicked to federal court and the The Hague Convention (not sure if applicable between US and Canada??) may get involved for service issues and all sorts of other things. If OP is serious, there are a ton of legal issues and a local attorney should absolutely be consulted. My personal opinion if I was in the OPs shoes would be to hope karma gets the seller. You probably don't have standing against the surveyor, the "as is" language creates quite a hurdle, and if the defendant chose to be difficult, legal fees would far exceed damages before a court even heard arguments... At least that's my guess. Consult a local attorney if you're serious!

That said, a strongly worded demand letter to both the seller and the broker might be very worthwhile. The potential ROI is much higher in my opinion. Consult a local attorney.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:03 PM   #56
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Again, is there PROOF the broker was aware of the true condition at the time of the sale/signing of the purchase documents?
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:26 AM   #57
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Interesting and important point...

Does "As-Is" absolve seller / broker of need to divulge known defects?

I'm no lawyer... any legal beagles out there that can confirm?
May be different in Ca.

It's been a few years, but IIRC the phrase is: Disclosure. A seller does not have to educate a buyer of the defects of a purchase. Caveat Emptor. However, if the seller is asked a direct question and lies, then it is actionable.


There is a difference between a buyer being uneducated and a seller being deceptive. Being uneducated is the buyers fault. Being deceptive is legally chargeable.

HOWEVER, when asked about a specific item, if the seller misleads the buyer about a specific item, then that can be brought for damages.

In this case, if the buyer specifically asked about the batteries, or the holding tank, and it was claimed all was fine, then they have a claim. But if nothing specific was asked...... sorry charlie.

The issue is: how specific was the buyer asking questions of the seller? Or did the buyer only discuss this with the surveyor? The surveyor can't be held accountable for what he doesn't know about. And if you look at your survey they are pretty well covered in 'legalese' about how they do 'non intrusive, non destructive' testing to make their decision, all while the boat is dry, ashore, inoperable, etc etc etc.

As others mentioned, Only two items are bad? That's a pretty good buy if you ask me.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:38 AM   #58
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Disclosure. A seller does not have to educate a buyer of the defects of a purchase. Caveat Emptor.

There is a difference between a buyer being uneducated and a seller being deceptive.
Being uneducated is the buyers fault. Being deceptive is legally chargeable.

As others mentioned, Only two items are bad? That's a pretty good buy if you ask me.
Understand - and agree

A LOT depends on the details of the conversation and whether anyone else was party to them to to substantiate any claim against the seller.

My prior comments were certainly in the minority and I'd rethink them based on the (unknown) facts / situation before proceeding w/ any suit.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:25 PM   #59
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To be blunt - I think its time to build a bridge - and get over it. If you don`t accept what the majority is saying - then its just going to eat away at your enjoyment of owning and using the boat.

The issue of stainless tanks has been discussed at great length on other threads and the consensus was - plastic good, stainless bad - sorry
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:54 PM   #60
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So what if it was tested perfect on the survey and broke the day after you took ownership? Would you feel better? Of course not. It stings, its fixable and time to move on. Trust me, its a boat. There will be more things to fix that you have not found yet.
FWIW, my list of pre-existing things to fix left from previous owners was pretty long. If it will make you feel any better, I'll PM you my work list.
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