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Old 03-22-2015, 12:20 AM   #1
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Question Soft Deck Mainship 390

Have just had surveyors report on a 2001 MS 390 I had put an offer on. As usual he found a lot of minor problems, mainly due to lack of regular maintenance, but 15% hull blisters, and what worried me most was a soft side deck in footwell by side sliding door. which wont open fully. The surveyor also found Trawler juice in the bilge directly under the door, so obviously the core is wet. I am of the age that a project like this is not on my bucket list, also the swim platform has cracks and severl gallons of water in it,and my immediate thought is to walk away and find another one, I am buying a boat in the US to do the Loop and Bahamas over a 18month or so period, Comments ?
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:54 AM   #2
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Walk away!
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:59 AM   #3
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Have just had surveyors report on a 2001 MS 390 I had put an offer on. As usual he found a lot of minor problems, mainly due to lack of regular maintenance, but 15% hull blisters, and what worried me most was a soft side deck in footwell by side sliding door. which wont open fully. The surveyor also found Trawler juice in the bilge directly under the door, so obviously the core is wet. I am of the age that a project like this is not on my bucket list, also the swim platform has cracks and severl gallons of water in it,and my immediate thought is to walk away and find another one, I am buying a boat in the US to do the Loop and Bahamas over a 18month or so period, Comments ?
Exactly why you do a survey, to avoid buying with problems such as it has. I'd certainly walk and consider the money spent on the survey some of the best spent money I'd ever spent.
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:41 AM   #4
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Just to run the loop, or visit the Bahamas a far less expensive boat in good condition would do better.

The most popular boat of a line like Bayliner , should offer the lowest cost round trip.

Depending on the visitor requirements , often over estimated , a 26 to 32 would work fine.

You might even contemplate one that fits on a trailer , if the ICW is of no interest after the first run.

The boat will probably be gasoline powered which means a bit more for fuel, and way less from maint, and should the engine crap out probably 1/10 to 1 /5 the replacement cost.

A year or two of cruising on a modest boat could have a ZERO rounf trip, the boats buy cost vs the boats eventual sales price.

A clean well used boat is always preferred to a non used dock queen with no engine hours.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:19 AM   #5
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I am buying a boat in the US to do the Loop and Bahamas over a 18month or so period, Comments ?

You might find the "Loopy Kiwi" blog useful, especially on topics like visas and permits and so forth.

-Chris
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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Lots of 390"s out there, great Bahamas and Looper, keep looking
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:28 AM   #7
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As an example in the Feb 8 issue of Fl Mariner is a 32 ft Trojan hardtop 1976 ,all new windows,microwave,2 burner stove,, double bunk 2 single bunks,generator.refrigeration /freezer .

The photo shows a fly bridge with large awning over. $12,500 OBO.

This boat could easily run the AICW and the loop, or to the Bahamas .and at $12.5K there should be no vessel cost for the adventure.

If in a couple of years , you want to become a liveaboard ,or a Blue water cruiser the experience will greatly help your boat choice in the next adventure.

There are dozens of boats that can safely run a modest loop trip at minor cost .

Laze Le Bon Tomps Roulee! (was nefer good at French spelling!)
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:20 AM   #8
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:06 AM   #9
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While I agree with most on here, there is a chance you could get a really good deal on this boat. As long as you know the cost of repair on this boat, you can lowball them...and I mean LOWBALL them....like half the asking price...if that would make sense of the repair cost. That is how I gained the boat in my signature. I was CERTAINLY walking away. I mumbled some hideously low price under my breath...ie..."I wouldn't pay a penny over $xx,xxx for that POS"....and my broker heard me. He relayed that number to the seller and the seller took it. I priced out all of the repairs and I got a boat for significantly less than I was originally willing to pay....meaning significantly less than what we went to survey for. And with the repair costs, I was still WAY under market value. Not only that, I have a bunch of new shit on my boat!!!...like the running gear....all NEW!!!

So don't price out the repairs and then subtract it from the price. Just lowball the shit out of them. It is very obvious that the boat has been neglected(as had been mine). That means the REALLY REALL REALLY want to sell it. They are way past the point of haggling...

Also, the water in the swim platform is a known issue with the older 350s. I think they fixed that issue when they changed it from the 350 to the 390. We all use those two models synonymously but they really aren't. They actually did a few changes to the boat when they changed the name from 350 to 390...in 2000??? A well versed owner could tell you what they did.

In the end, there are numerous 350/390s out there. I personally love the boat. I think they represent great value not to mention they are quite handsome. Just find a number way down low that you think you can live with and if you like this particular boat, hit 'em low...really low and see what they do. Like other things we love the most(dogs and women), we don't find them...they find us!!!!
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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Run like the wind! Too many boats out there at great prices.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:26 AM   #11
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I'm completely in Baker's camp on this one. You are in the drivers seat and with survey in hand the position of complete power. If they haggle at all then follow Ted's advice below.

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Don't walk away, run away as fast as you can.

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Boats can be repaired but POS boats that fail survey won't sell very fast for very much and believe me, the broker will let the owner know it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:29 AM   #12
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A boat with those issues will sit on a yard for at least a year and that is being generous. How long do you want to sit around and wait?
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:31 PM   #13
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A boat with those issues will sit on a yard for at least a year and that is being generous. How long do you want to sit around and wait?
You are using the wrong yard!!! They are in the business to make money. The quicker the boat is in and out the more money they make. They pay "floor plan" costs for your boat to sit in their yard!!!!
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:55 PM   #14
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While I agree with most on here, there is a chance you could get a really good deal on this boat. As long as you know the cost of repair on this boat, you can lowball them...and I mean LOWBALL them....like half the asking price...if that would make sense of the repair cost. That is how I gained the boat in my signature. I was CERTAINLY walking away. I mumbled some hideously low price under my breath...ie..."I wouldn't pay a penny over $xx,xxx for that POS"....and my broker heard me. He relayed that number to the seller and the seller took it. I priced out all of the repairs and I got a boat for significantly less than I was originally willing to pay....meaning significantly less than what we went to survey for. And with the repair costs, I was still WAY under market value. Not only that, I have a bunch of new shit on my boat!!!...like the running gear....all NEW!!!

So don't price out the repairs and then subtract it from the price. Just lowball the shit out of them. It is very obvious that the boat has been neglected(as had been mine). That means the REALLY REALL REALLY want to sell it. They are way past the point of haggling...

Also, the water in the swim platform is a known issue with the older 350s. I think they fixed that issue when they changed it from the 350 to the 390. We all use those two models synonymously but they really aren't. They actually did a few changes to the boat when they changed the name from 350 to 390...in 2000??? A well versed owner could tell you what they did.

In the end, there are numerous 350/390s out there. I personally love the boat. I think they represent great value not to mention they are quite handsome. Just find a number way down low that you think you can live with and if you like this particular boat, hit 'em low...really low and see what they do. Like other things we love the most(dogs and women), we don't find them...they find us!!!!
While I know many agree with you, I personally don't like the unknown, and the extent of the issues with this boat are unknown until someone gets deep into it, plus I don't like going through the entire repair process. I'd be far more likely to offer a low ball if I knew what the repairs consisted of, but until one starts ripping some things apart and digs deeper, no one knows what this might entail.

I assume the engine survey and sea trial haven't been performed yet, which is more expense and could indicate many other issues.

Upon reaching a certain age it seems to me even more than ever, time and peace of mind become increasingly valued. In the OP's case, he's looking for the boat to undertake an 18 month (which will likely turn into long) loop, plus he's in Australia so managing repairs and rebuild could be very difficult.

I missed if he mentioned where the boat is currently located, but that would certainly influence the time and cost of correcting the problems.

Ultimately, each person has a different priority and level of tolerance for going through what this boat will require.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:25 PM   #15
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Auskiwi,

I walked away from a 390 with flybridge core problems several years ago. At the time I told people the money for the surveyer was the best I ever spent.

Baker's story is (to me) a great one!. I would have been willing to do the same but the owner already thought I was lowballing him. We walked and ended up with our NP 39 the next year. Much better deal for us.

YMMV

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Old 03-24-2015, 09:38 PM   #16
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You are using the wrong yard!!! They are in the business to make money. The quicker the boat is in and out the more money they make. They pay "floor plan" costs for your boat to sit in their yard!!!!

So how long will it be on the yard?............You don't know, and until it gets torn apart, evaluated, prices worked up, parts ordered you are looking at 3 months minimum. With the blister issues he described, the boat may need to dry for at least 6 months, and in between every yacht showing up needing work that they can complete in a week or two, your boat sits. gentlemen's bet. I say at least a year, what do you say?
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:24 PM   #17
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Smile Soft Decks MT 390

Thanks all for the many comments, all appreciated. I have walked on this one as vendor was not prepared to put it right or sell at a discount. The Broker was most helpful but they can only do so much, will arrive in US next month and have a couple to check on, Thanks again from a Kiwi living in Aussie.
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