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Old 09-01-2014, 11:38 PM   #1
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What would make you walk after survey?

So I flew to Fort Lauderdale this weekend to have the NT 32 I'm under contract with surveyed.
Right off the bat, I get to the boat and find that the owner of the diesel survey company isn't there, and instead one of his helpers is doing the survey.
He tells me the generator started and then quit after 2 minutes of running.
He states that he doesn't think it's a big deal. "Probably something simple".

No sooner than the words left his mouth, the power turned off from the AC throwing the breaker. We flip the breaker on the shore power and I then see the aft AC control is flashing an error code and is no longer working.
So now we are sweating like crazy in the South Florida heat and humidity.

One month ago, the owner spent almost $1200 "trouble shooting" the AC.
Obviously they didn't fix it. I also remember the broker telling me they "fixed the breaker issue", but didn't understand what that was in reference to at the time.

Since I found this boat for sale, I've had concerns about a few things but dismissed them since the boat was so damn clean. Its a 2004 with 550 hours on the engine and frankly, the boat looks like it's hardly been used.
It's got great electronics, the gel coat is in great condition as the boat was supposedly only used by the owners 4 months a year and then stored inside a climate controlled building the rest of the year.
It has all the options I want.

One month ago, $10,000 dollars was spent on the boat doing all the maintenance, bottom painting, rebuilding of the drivetrain (cutlass bearings, dripless, shaft trued, etc. new impellers for both generator and engine, belt replaced, racors replaced, broken exhaust support arm welded, etc.
5 months ago, another service was done redoing the heat exchangers, oil coolers, etc. for around $2500.
I have all the invoices for this recent work. Weird thing is, on the $10,000 worth of invoices, under the parts column, there are charges for parts, but no charges for the labor to actually install or replace the parts. Then on one invoice they charge for the labor to do something, but the parts aren't billed on the invoice.
So in the last 5 months, approximately $12,500 worth of work has been done on the boat.

I guess I should be happy that all the regular maintenance work has been done.
But it scares the hell out of me that after all this recent work, major things still don't work. It's an expensive boat, and I don't really want to have to dump more money into the boat once I get it back to California.

I'm still waiting for the surveyors report, but really I don't think it will make a difference. I think the AC has gremlins, and by the generator not running, I wasn't able to have it properly surveyed.

I think I'm going to walk.....maybe cold feet?

Any insight or opinions?
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:03 AM   #2
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Why not extend the purchase contract and have the owner fix the problems.
Do not do what I did and assume the problems were small. (long story, but I found another problem with my generator today that the previous owner told me was "just an impeller")
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:29 AM   #3
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Why not extend the purchase contract and have the owner fix the problems.
Do not do what I did and assume the problems were small. (long story, but I found another problem with my generator today that the previous owner told me was "just an impeller")
Thanks for the reply Bligh.
I could do that, but the brokerage seems so chaotic for being such a reputable firm. They were the ones that had all the work done in the last 5 months. They knew I was flying in to survey the boat. You would have thought they would have at least stopped by to make sure all the major items were functioning or confirm the work was done correctly.
Plus I don't want to have to fly there again to confirm the work being done correctly.
Funny thing about Fort Lauderdale. This particular brokerage is one of the larger ones in Fort Lauderdale. Being that everyone knows everyone in the boating community there, I almost felt like the surveyors were not really acting in my interest.
They knew I was a one time buyer from California and I'm sure they didn't want to jeopardize the relationship with the brokerage.

Oh, BTW, with your boat, you had window wiper issues. This boat's worked fine, but the arms had no pressure against the windows. barely touched the glass.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:36 AM   #4
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...

Oh, BTW, with your boat, you had window wiper issues. This boat's worked fine, but the arms had no pressure against the windows. barely touched the glass.
Needing stronger/newer springs (assuming the wipers have springs)?
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:38 AM   #5
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Extend the contract and tell them to make the boat right and have them pay for return flight expenses. If the balk, walk. My 2 cents
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:45 AM   #6
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Extend the contract and tell them to make the boat right and have them pay for return flight expenses. If the balk, walk. My 2 cents
Can you deal with the owner directly and bypass the broker? If the owner is motivated, it's worth a try.

In regards to the wipers, I had that issue as well. If the shafts aren't corroded it should be an easy fix.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:48 AM   #7
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I think I'm going to walk.....maybe cold feet?
My advice was going to be the same as the others to extend the contract requiring them to fix the problems.

However, you suggest you're getting cold feet. Generally there's a reason for that in terms of what you're sensing with the situation. If you really feel in your gut that this is a mistake, walk away. You may not know why other than the obvious, but when you go against a feeling like that you often get burned.

Who chose the surveyor? If you didn't do it independently, not on a broker recommendation, then that is a lesson learned too.

How did the sea trial go? Did the surveyor make any comments regarding the hull or other things? That's assuming you had a regular surveyor in addition to the diesel surveyor.

Now, I wouldn't do anything until I had the report. You need to know all the things that are problematic before extending and giving them time to fix, if you decide to do that.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:53 AM   #8
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Well it sounds like you have a couple of issues. Brokers don't always get the best people to do the work on boats they're trying to sell. Many times they get who can do it the cheapest. And a surveyor who does a lot of work for the broker may not have your best interest at heart.

I've done a lot of work in Ft. Lauderdale over the years. If you want to PM me the name of the brokerage and survey company I might be able to give you some insight.

Of course none of that rules out the fact that the issues may be minor. But I would have them taken care of to your satisfaction or get a fair price reduction and get the proper people to take care of them yourself.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:05 AM   #9
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Extend the contract and tell them to make the boat right and have them pay for return flight expenses. If the balk, walk. My 2 cents
Ditto above. It sounds as if you like the boat. I don't like the sound of the electrical breaker issue, but even replacing the A/C is not beyond reasonable for an expensive boat.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:19 AM   #10
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The next step, in my humble opinion is that the generator is compromised, so is the AC. There is no such thing as "probably a simple fix" when you just flew into view a boat. The bar is higher, so the result gets interpreted pretty simply. The generator and the AC is broke. The chance for fixing came and went. YOUR next step is to simply accommodate the issue in some way based on discount and then you use that money to pursue a fix somewhere else. I don't think it would be out of line to suggest that the boat should be discounted 60% of the value of a new generator and AC. They already had a shot at fixing, so now you assume they systems will need replacing-ish. Your not buying a new boat so you don't factor the full replace cost, but used equipment is not worth a lot value wise so the discount is substantial.

But before that, I sense that you don't trust your surveyors, and it seems like there is very good reason not to. Since the whole opinion is based on that assumption on what they found, and also the trust of what they may not have found, the entire shebang may be in question. You simply HAVE to bring competent surveyors and never EVER let a broker choose one. Brokers always choose the guy who will deliver a particular message.

If they seller comes around, then great. But typically when you get jerked around, however good the intentions, its going to happen again. When flying into view a boat, this just gets nightmarish expensive and very likely you don't really get to a fix that way. I would much rather just discount the boat and address later, or move on.

Just my .02
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:19 AM   #11
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Extend the contract and tell them to make the boat right and have them pay for return flight expenses. If the balk, walk. My 2 cents
I was going to have them fix everything, and then have them pay for someone of my choosing to check on it to confirm it was done correctly.
I really don't want to have to fly back again. But would if I have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bligh View Post
Can you deal with the owner directly and bypass the broker? If the owner is motivated, it's worth a try.

In regards to the wipers, I had that issue as well. If the shafts aren't corroded it should be an easy fix.
The brokerage owns the boat. It was taken in on trade on a larger NT ( supposedly). I was originally told by the broker that it was owned by a very wealthy man who is a good friend with the owner of the brokerage. The boat has been used sparingly for the last 5 months by the wealthy man who happened to pay the recent $10,000 repair bill. The boat is kept at his private dock at his house.
The rich guy also filled the tank up full prior to the survey. Which I thought was weird. As a result, the performance was off.


Quote:
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My advice was going to be the same as the others to extend the contract requiring them to fix the problems.

However, you suggest you're getting cold feet. Generally there's a reason for that in terms of what you're sensing with the situation. If you really feel in your gut that this is a mistake, walk away. You may not know why other than the obvious, but when you go against a feeling like that you often get burned.

Who chose the surveyor? If you didn't do it independently, not on a broker recommendation, then that is a lesson learned too.

How did the sea trial go? Did the surveyor make any comments regarding the hull or other things? That's assuming you had a regular surveyor in addition to the diesel surveyor.

Now, I wouldn't do anything until I had the report. You need to know all the things that are problematic before extending and giving them time to fix, if you decide to do that.
I do have a gut feeling it may be a mistake, but I think it's more money driven than anything else.
Compared to other bigger, nicer boats the price is nothing. But still, with shipping, it's a lot of money. For me.
I see how much money they spent doing "regular maintenance" in the last 5 months and get a bit nervous thinking about if things break. Plus I know the price will depreciate on a yearly basis.
I think I still haven't calibrated my brain yet

The broker gave me a list of surveyors to help me out. All were SAMS.
I had compiled a list of surveyors and my list had several of the broker's recommended ones.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:29 AM   #12
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The rich guy also filled the tank up full prior to the survey. Which I thought was weird. As a result, the performance was off.
That's the only way I would test performance, with full everything, not empty. Boats are typically over propped, you don't want that.

Sounds like the boat has been open checkbook. They may be incompetent, but it does not sound like they have hidden anything.

Money may not be a huge object here, you might be surprised that they accommodate your requests. If they don't, walk if you can find a better deal.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:51 AM   #13
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If it were me and I liked the boat I'd have the owner pay to diagnose the generator problem.

AC is something since they recently worked on it you could have the owner deal with as well, fix or provide a cash discount to replace.

Nothing else you indicated bothers me at all.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:57 AM   #14
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Well it sounds like you have a couple of issues. Brokers don't always get the best people to do the work on boats they're trying to sell. Many times they get who can do it the cheapest. And a surveyor who does a lot of work for the broker may not have your best interest at heart.

I've done a lot of work in Ft. Lauderdale over the years. If you want to PM me the name of the brokerage and survey company I might be able to give you some insight.

Of course none of that rules out the fact that the issues may be minor. But I would have them taken care of to your satisfaction or get a fair price reduction and get the proper people to take care of them yourself.
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Once I inform the brokerage of my decision, I'll PM you the info.
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The next step, in my humble opinion is that the generator is compromised, so is the AC. There is no such thing as "probably a simple fix" when you just flew into view a boat. The bar is higher, so the result gets interpreted pretty simply. The generator and the AC is broke. The chance for fixing came and went. YOUR next step is to simply accommodate the issue in some way based on discount and then you use that money to pursue a fix somewhere else. I don't think it would be out of line to suggest that the boat should be discounted 60% of the value of a new generator and AC. They already had a shot at fixing, so now you assume they systems will need replacing-ish. Your not buying a new boat so you don't factor the full replace cost, but used equipment is not worth a lot value wise so the discount is substantial.

But before that, I sense that you don't trust your surveyors, and it seems like there is very good reason not to. Since the whole opinion is based on that assumption on what they found, and also the trust of what they may not have found, the entire shebang may be in question. You simply HAVE to bring competent surveyors and never EVER let a broker choose one. Brokers always choose the guy who will deliver a particular message.

If they seller comes around, then great. But typically when you get jerked around, however good the intentions, its going to happen again. When flying into view a boat, this just gets nightmarish expensive and very likely you don't really get to a fix that way. I would much rather just discount the boat and address later, or move on.

Just my .02
I like your thinking Ghost.
I'm not sure they would discount things 60%, but they should.
And of course, I have to make sure I don't piss anyone off at the brokerage, for if I buy the boat, I'll be dependent on the brokerage coordinating removal of the radar tower and false stack with the yard, along with coordinating with the shipper.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:10 AM   #15
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Tunajoe, first sort out what is real, and what is "buyers remorse". It`s common to get cold feet while committing to spend considerable $.
I do not like the idea of a contract requiring the seller/broker (one and the same here) to fix things as part of the purchase agreement, especially when they already tried and failed. You`d have to stipulate the work, and its quality, and for a post work survey check. I nearly went there, didn`t like the reaction to the work quality assurance I wanted, and walked. Beware buying as is with an allowance, it never seems to be enough. I`d guess the breaker tripping is a/c related, but what`s going on with the genset, that sounds separate.If these guys could have got the boat fixed for sales presentation and survey they would have, so how are you going to get it fixed? Even the accounts you are seeing are compromised, though that could be because the seller was paying the broker owner, and they are actually one person.
The fact you don`t trust the surveyor, either for competence and/or a seller relationship, means you need a fresh surveyor, or you won`t be comfortable.
To me, there are too many issues. You might not have seen everything that`s a problem. It helps to have some faith in a seller,you don`t. You don`t even have faith in the surveyor to balance things up. Maybe you need a very direct discussion with the seller, ask him what he proposes to do to save a deal,and see what he says, without committing yourself in any way.
It can help decision making to write things down. Sounds odd, but it concentrates the mind. I`ve written lists of pluses and minuses when comparing 2 potential boats. Try writing down the problems you see about the boat , and the reasons for buying. Weigh them up. Take care.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:40 AM   #16
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I walked past several NT 32s for sale in Anacortes last week. Have you looked in the PNW? If the vessel doesn't feel right today, it will not get any better. The broker is trying to wear you down with nice visuals and platitudes but no substance.

An AC and genset that doesn't work right on a FL boat could be from hurricane damage or lightning. And the boat couldn't meet a full throttle test? That is not good for a planing vessel. What else didn't go well on the important systems and mechanicals?

Paranoia is good when shopping for a boat. Last but not least, relying upon a broker to set your vessel up for shipping is risky, unless it is Tucker Fallon.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:57 AM   #17
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I could do that, but the brokerage seems so chaotic for being such a reputable firm. They were the ones that had all the work done in the last 5 months

Many brokerages are too cheap to actually hire a pro.

They will have their >mechanic< , who usually washes the boats (at $300 a shot, billed to the owner) attempt a repair.

Only deal IF they will take it to a boat yard , that has a good reputation.

If its a 10 min fix , it will be a 10 min fix , rather than a nightmare amateur patch job to get the boat sold.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:28 AM   #18
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I'm a bit with sunchaser on this one, there are plenty of boats available on the west coast where you can be more directly involved and able to hold the seller and surveyors accountable. Plus you can put it right to use and avoid all the issues with shipping it. The guys in Florida had their chance to have it ready and shipshape as possible.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:53 AM   #19
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If all of the repairs look like the sealing job on that through-hull I would be running away. I wonder how much moisture is absorbed into the hull around that fitting.

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Old 09-02-2014, 09:00 AM   #20
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I'm bothered by the comment that the full tanks made it difficult to test performance. What does that mean? Did it not perform? That would be another issue if so.

And you said the thing making you uncomfortable was price. It would seem that price would be the only reason you're coming to Florida to look at a NT. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. How much is it going to cost to get it home?
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