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Old 11-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #101
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There is more to this story that hasn't been disclosed by the seller.
That very well could be.
You have a boat with multiple defects, a selling dealer who did not carry out post sale checks despite Beneteau reminders, and an owner must must have been aware of at least some defects and did not(?could not) get them attended to under warranty, or otherwise. The owner is now offering this low hour near new boat, at a price sufficiently competitive to attract the OP who has specific views about pricing.
It comes down to whether, in all the circumstances, this still feels like a good boat for the OP. I have a view, but it`s the impression the OP takes from all the circumstances that matters. At least it doesn`t have the water leak.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:58 PM   #102
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I stick by my run. A 2 year old boat in that condition reflects an awful combination of poor workmanship or installation plus horrific maintenance. Clearly the owner took no real pride in the boat. As to the warranty story and the dealer inspections and the voided warranty, I don't buy any part of that story. It's just something else very fishy about this entire boat. Add to that the boat doesn't reach speed and just the neglect by an owner to let it get to the condition it's in.



There is more to this story that hasn't been disclosed by the seller.


Let me try to separate fact from conjecture here, based on my experience.

I agree with the poor workmanship (actually, not really "workmanship" but rather design) in terms of the rudder seal system used and their use of caulking. They should do better in both these areas, and I've certainly passed my thoughts to Beneteau on this.

Also agree on the prior owner not taking enough pride to properly care for these issues.

But the boat absolutely does reach top speed. No question whatsoever. Especially with tanks half full and five people on board. I've talked with multiple owners and this is in line with what they have seen. Mine has hit about 24.5 knots. The boattest.com number of 25.6 knots is NOT what I've heard from most owners, and that was also with a radar gun versus gauges, an unknown number of passengers aboard, unknown current, unknown quantity of fuel and water aboard, etc. For reference, Power & Motoryacht tested the boat as well and got 23.7 knots at 3,500rpm. In the real world with varying conditions, 24 knots is right in line with what the top speed should be.

And while I don't necessarily agree with the policy, the warranty issue isn't fishy at all. Beneteau requires that an annual inspection be done in order to keep the warranty intact. The owner can re-instate the warranty by having the dealer inspect the boat, however, anything that might be found prior to the inspection and re-instatement won't be covered. That is the fine print. However, based on my knowledge, despite the fine print, Beneteau doesn't take a black or white approach to this. If the boat is still under the warranty period, and something comes up that is obviously the result of a defect, there is a good chance they'll fix it under warranty even if the boat didn't get an inspection. Multiple dealers (three to be exact) that I've spoken with that carry multiple brands of boat tell me that Beneteau is the best manufacturer they deal with in terms of warranty claims and generally supporting the owners on warranty issues.

I personally wish the fine print itself wasn't so black or white, but being a higher volume producer, I am sure the lawyers had a lot to do with this in order to protect Beneteau from being liable for issues that happen due to lack of maintenance or care. But again, despite the fine print, they do apply some common sense to issues that come up. Unfortunately, the new owner would need to submit these claims after the purchase, so there are no guarantees.

From an outsider's perspective, I can see how the warranty story sounds fishy and part of a greater conspiracy, but based on first hand knowledge, I do not think that is the case.

UPDATE: Just heard from another owner on the West Coast. He's hit 23.9 knots as his top speed.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:20 PM   #103
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And while I don't necessarily agree with the policy, the warranty issue isn't fishy at all. Beneteau requires that an annual inspection be done in order to keep the warranty intact. The owner can re-instate the warranty by having the dealer inspect the boat, however, anything that might be found prior to the inspection and re-instatement won't be covered. That is the fine print. However, based on my knowledge, despite the fine print, Beneteau doesn't take a black or white approach to this. If the boat is still under the warranty period, and something comes up that is obviously the result of a defect, there is a good chance they'll fix it under warranty even if the boat didn't get an inspection. Multiple dealers (three to be exact) that I've spoken with that carry multiple brands of boat tell me that Beneteau is the best manufacturer they deal with in terms of warranty claims and generally supporting the owners on warranty issues.

I personally wish the fine print itself wasn't so black or white, but being a higher volume producer, I am sure the lawyers had a lot to do with this in order to protect Beneteau from being liable for issues that happen due to lack of maintenance or care. But again, despite the fine print, they do apply some common sense to issues that come up. Unfortunately, the new owner would need to submit these claims after the purchase, so there are no guarantees.

.
My mistake on the speed.

Well, let me speak on the warranty story. First, based on all I've heard regarding Beneteau and warranty support it doesn't sound at all like them to stick to the black and white and deny coverage. I agree with you on that which makes the whole story more suspect. Beneteau would refuse only based on additional information. We've seen their responsiveness on claims.

Second, the fine print black and white clause has been found illegal and overturned many times in US courts. The equivalent is an auto manufacturer requiring regular service performed by their dealer. The law states that to refuse to cover the claim, they must prove that the failure to adhere to the black and white terms caused the problem.

There are too many red flags from potentially serious to minor but all reflect a pattern. I wouldn't be surprised by anything this boat might have been through, up to and including a hurricane. Perhaps it was repossessed and left in disrepair. Maybe it was in a divorce battle. I don't know what the story is, but I do know there are enough red flags to say it's an ugly story at best. I'm not condemning Beneteau or Swift Trawlers but am saying no to this boat and if these are the things discovered, there are likely quite a few more not yet found.

We advise people to check the maintenance logs, but on this boat we know the maintenance has been very poor. What else is there? Turbo issue, well what hidden engine issues that may not surface for a while, all due to neglect and abuse. You say, "everyone I've talked with said as long as you follow the maintenance schedule, they are very reliable engines." Do you have any reason to believe the maintenance schedule has been followed and that they've been checked regularly by the owner? You can do early damage that doesn't surface until much later.

There are too many ST's available to go for this one. Now, it may be priced less, but then there are reasons for that.

I fear what is known about this boat. I fear far more however what is not known.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:24 PM   #104
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My mistake on the speed.



Well, let me speak on the warranty story. First, based on all I've heard regarding Beneteau and warranty support it doesn't sound at all like them to stick to the black and white and deny coverage. I agree with you on that which makes the whole story more suspect. Beneteau would refuse only based on additional information. We've seen their responsiveness on claims.



Second, the fine print black and white clause has been found illegal and overturned many times in US courts. The equivalent is an auto manufacturer requiring regular service performed by their dealer. The law states that to refuse to cover the claim, they must prove that the failure to adhere to the black and white terms caused the problem.



There are too many red flags from potentially serious to minor but all reflect a pattern. I wouldn't be surprised by anything this boat might have been through, up to and including a hurricane. Perhaps it was repossessed and left in disrepair. Maybe it was in a divorce battle. I don't know what the story is, but I do know there are enough red flags to say it's an ugly story at best. I'm not condemning Beneteau or Swift Trawlers but am saying no to this boat and if these are the things discovered, there are likely quite a few more not yet found.



We advise people to check the maintenance logs, but on this boat we know the maintenance has been very poor. What else is there? Turbo issue, well what hidden engine issues that may not surface for a while, all due to neglect and abuse. You say, "everyone I've talked with said as long as you follow the maintenance schedule, they are very reliable engines." Do you have any reason to believe the maintenance schedule has been followed and that they've been checked regularly by the owner? You can do early damage that doesn't surface until much later.



There are too many ST's available to go for this one. Now, it may be priced less, but then there are reasons for that.



I fear what is known about this boat. I fear far more however what is not known.


Fair points. And good to know about the legality issue you brought up. I wasn't aware of that.

I guess it's up to the buyer to make the best informed decision possible based on what is and is not known at this point.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:21 PM   #105
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Can you please explain why you're even asking, considering with all those things? That boat is a disaster and there's much more to the story you don't even know I'll bet.

Gaston hit it right. 2 year old boat is like you'd expect from a 20 year old. We just sold a 2015 model boat and it was in perfect condition.
As someone that has owned boats before and been a boater most of his life, these are fewer issues than one can expect on a brand new boat right out of the factory. It has been my experience that there is usually a list of items that need to be corrected after the first season or two on a brand new boat. The surveyor said in his 30 year career in surveying, this boat is in the top 5% in terms of condition and has the shortest list of issues. My list only truly included a few issues, the turbo oil leak being my #1 concern.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:21 PM   #106
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As someone who knows the Swift 44 well, I think you guys are overeacting. The Raymarine issue may simply be a setting issue, as you can enable and disable the touch aspect. Smoke detectors are an easy add. The Volvo and Raymarine don't talk to one another as standard on the Swift. You need to get a Volvo NMEA 2000 Gateway which is around $400 I think. But again, nothing broken there, the boat just doesn't come with it as standard. Not sure about the inverter, could just be the way it operates. The lead ballast is no issue, as Beneteau adds it, maybe to level the boat I'm guessing? The 24 knots is right where the top speed should be, and the engines are hitting their absolute max operating rpm at 3,600. Not sure why the TV is not secured, but no big deal. Easy fix, maybe just a matter of securing a mount using a modern adhesive. Lots of Swift 44's have TVs in the Master, so the dealer should be able to provide guidance.

As for the bimini, clearly it was poorly constructed if it needs to be replaced, but certainly something that you can ask the seller to provide an allowance for in order to replace. Definitely not something that would lead me to passing on the boat.

Okay, that leaves 3 issues. The turbos, the rudder, and the caulking mold and mildew.

First let's talk about the caulking. Beneteau, for who knows what reason, insists on laying a thick bead of white caulking in certain areas, especially in the cockpit where the hull meets the top side. If you don't keep applying mold and mildew treatment periodically, especially in wetter climates, mold will grow on it and penetrate the caulking. When I purchased my Swift 44 up in Vancouver, there were areas where this happened. I doused it with a mold and mildew remover and after multiple applications the mold faded to where it is barely noticable. And at some point, I may just put a thin layer of caulk over it and eliminate it completely. I've even heard of people painting the caulk and swear by it as a solution. In any case, I do NOT agree with the way Beneteau uses caulk so liberally in certain areas, but that said, if you like the Swift, it is easily resolved.

That leaves the rudder seals and the turbos.

Let's cover the rudder seals. While obviously you'd rather not have a seal that leaks, as long as there isn't a lot of corrosion, this is an easy fix and something the buyer could ask the seller for an allowance to repair. Unfortunately, this is a known weak spot in the Swift. The rudder seals they use are not very robust. I had a leaky seal which was repaired after I purchased, and so far it hasn't leaked again. But regardless, I would consider the rudder seal as a weak spot. That said, this is something that happens on other Swifts. It isn't a sign that this particular boat is in a state of disrepair. And if you like the Swift, you need to accept the fact that at some point, you'll probably need to replace the seals. The parts are $120 per rudder, so when you get the boat hauled out for bottom paint every 3 years, probably a good idea to have the yard replace the seals.

That leaves the ONE issue that would give me pause, which is the turbos. The rest of the issues, especially since the caulking and rudder seals happen on other Swifts, are just noise in terms of making a "go" or "no go" decision.

The turbos should not have oil leaks at this point. My assumption is that they are under warranty, and if so, they can be fixed at no cost. However, if I was the buyer of the boat, this would be the one issue that I would put the majority of my energy into in order to determine if it is an isolated issue, or related to something more systemic. I personally have not heard of this issue as being common on the D4's. In general, everyone I've talked with said as long as you follow the maintenance schedule, they are very reliable engines. And there are a lot of them around.

So bottom line is that the turbos should be investigated more deeply, while I believe the other issues are very minor.
Spot on, thank you
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:24 PM   #107
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IMO If purchasing a 2 year old boat it should be as good or better than new Not a boat wanting repairs what else did the survey miss
see my comment above. i have seen plenty of new boats in the mid-tier to high-end range, and there are always a laundry list of things to fix after the first season or two. the survey was more of a formality. i went through the boat with a fine tooth comb and looked at more than a normal survey would probably cover. the area i dont have expertise in is volvo diesel engines. so i brought in the top recommended volvo dealer in the area and they did a full mechanical inspection. i even asked them to look at things they normally would not look at. they noted the small oil leak on the turbos and that is what i am now most concerned with. i would like to pinpoint cause and if its a sign of a larger issue. they seemed to brush it off as no big deal and to change the gaskets which would be 1-2 hours of labor. i am asking if its covered under the warranty.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:28 PM   #108
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I stick by my run. A 2 year old boat in that condition reflects an awful combination of poor workmanship or installation plus horrific maintenance. Clearly the owner took no real pride in the boat. As to the warranty story and the dealer inspections and the voided warranty, I don't buy any part of that story. It's just something else very fishy about this entire boat. Add to that the boat doesn't reach speed and just the neglect by an owner to let it get to the condition it's in.

There is more to this story that hasn't been disclosed by the seller.
no, the boat is actually well made to the point its impressive. the bimini condition is the owners fault for not cleaning it and weather proofing it. i will ask for an allowance for that. i had a list 2-3x longer on my current boat and fixed most of it myself and most was covered under warranty. i haven't had a boat or known a friends boat to be perfect and most have a list of issues to tend to after taking delivery.

As for the warranty, I actually saw the email chain that included Beneteau's communications on the matter. They are blaming the dealer and I think word is the dealer made this mistake on all the beneteau boats they sold that had this requirement. Beneteau apparently gave them a chance to fix them a few months ago but they didn't. The dealer should know the product they are selling and I'm guessing communications got crossed somewhere. What I question is why Beneteau continues to allow this dealer to sell their product.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:33 PM   #109
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My mistake on the speed.

Well, let me speak on the warranty story. First, based on all I've heard regarding Beneteau and warranty support it doesn't sound at all like them to stick to the black and white and deny coverage. I agree with you on that which makes the whole story more suspect. Beneteau would refuse only based on additional information. We've seen their responsiveness on claims.

Second, the fine print black and white clause has been found illegal and overturned many times in US courts. The equivalent is an auto manufacturer requiring regular service performed by their dealer. The law states that to refuse to cover the claim, they must prove that the failure to adhere to the black and white terms caused the problem.

There are too many red flags from potentially serious to minor but all reflect a pattern. I wouldn't be surprised by anything this boat might have been through, up to and including a hurricane. Perhaps it was repossessed and left in disrepair. Maybe it was in a divorce battle. I don't know what the story is, but I do know there are enough red flags to say it's an ugly story at best. I'm not condemning Beneteau or Swift Trawlers but am saying no to this boat and if these are the things discovered, there are likely quite a few more not yet found.

We advise people to check the maintenance logs, but on this boat we know the maintenance has been very poor. What else is there? Turbo issue, well what hidden engine issues that may not surface for a while, all due to neglect and abuse. You say, "everyone I've talked with said as long as you follow the maintenance schedule, they are very reliable engines." Do you have any reason to believe the maintenance schedule has been followed and that they've been checked regularly by the owner? You can do early damage that doesn't surface until much later.

There are too many ST's available to go for this one. Now, it may be priced less, but then there are reasons for that.

I fear what is known about this boat. I fear far more however what is not known.
Thank you for your insight regarding the warranty terms. I am hoping Beneteau steps up to the plate and covers most of the issues.

The boat has not been through a hurricane, left abandoned, etc. I did a ton of due diligence, more than a normal seller would. I researched the owners. Met them the other day. Asked lots of questions. I am good getting down to the facts. I got all of the maintenance records back to its commissioning.

There are no red flags other than the turbos leaking some oil which the mechanics say is minor and probably just needs gaskets re-done.

My point of asking questions was to get feedback directly from ST44 owners. I wanted to know if they had mold/mildew in their caulking. If they had any ideas on how to secure a TV in the master stateroom that was placed aftermarket. I was not intending to ask general proceed/not proceed advice.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:57 PM   #110
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My point of asking questions was to get feedback directly from ST44 owners. I wanted to know if they had mold/mildew in their caulking. If they had any ideas on how to secure a TV in the master stateroom that was placed aftermarket. I was not intending to ask general proceed/not proceed advice.
Clearly I misinterpreted the "Thank you for your insight" and didn't see "ST owners only."

Good luck.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:54 PM   #111
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Alright, just surveyed a 2015 ST 44! Looking for some input from ST 44 owners...

I was hoping that some of the issues could be addressed by beneteau/dealer under warranty. However, even though the boat should have an entire year of warranty left, the dealer never did the inspections required by Beneteau. We reached out to Beneteau and they told us the dealer was even reminded by them and given an extension. The owner was never contacted unfortunately and Beneteau is stating they will not honor the last year of warranty. I guess one could blame the owner but sounds like the dealer wasn't even aware of the required inspection...

Now onto the main issues/questions:
1. Upper helm raymarine touch input faulty
2. Leaky rudder seal
3. Both turbos had a small oil leak but mechanics feel they just need new gaskets. Anyone know if that is normal and not the sign of a larger issue?
4. Bimini top was in poor condition and torn. Needs to be replaced. Need to get an estimate.
5. ALL exterior caulking is riddled with mold/mildew. Owner states its been an issue for a while. Boat is only two years old. I am thinking the factory used the wrong type. Has anyone had this issue?
6. There are zero smoke/CO detectors on the boat. Does Beneteau not install?
7. The Volvos and raymarine weren’t talking. There is only a dedicated Volvo screen in the lower helm. I am guessing I need a module to get them to talk? Need to figure out cost for 2x engines.
8. Mastervolt inverter does not turn off when switch is flipped down. I thought inverters usually have to be turned off when shore power is on but the owner hasn’t touched and leaves as-is. It worked when we disconnected shore power. Maybe they are just smart these days and know when to kick on or stay on in parallel to the shore power?
9. There appears to be several hundred pounds of lead ballast in the bilge on the port side. Does everyone's ST 44 have that too?
10. Could only get 24 knots at 3600 rpm and 30 gph. Not terribly far off from the boattest. Boat had half fuel and five people on-board. Mechanics state they felt the boat was underpropped. I don’t know what that means.
11. TV in master is not secured to anything. Looks like guest cabin wall is shared and would need to drill through to mount? Anyone have any creative solutions for theirs?

There were some other minor issues but to be expected.

Thank you for your insight!!
OK, I'll try and help. Original owner ST 44 2012:
1) No such issue with my Raymarine MFD's. Did have to replace the rubber /plastic trackpad curser/enter piece as the rubber edge wore out.
2) My rudder seals look very suspect, as shown with pictures on my prior posts different thread, but not a serious issue for me at this time.
3) No oil leaks at turbos.
4) My original bimini is still in use but I had a spare made for about $950.
5) There is evidence of some mold within the caulking, not a big deal, boat looks great!
6) I installed CO and smoke detectors myself. Easy and inexpensive.
7) I guess my electronics and engines do not communicate either but no one is complaining.
8) The 2 small inverters (one for each TV receptacle) stay on all of the time. No issues.
9) Lead ballast in the port side engine room came with the boat.
10) Like Michael stated, 24 kts. / 3600 / WOT is right on the money.
11) I have no TV in the master so no info on this.

By the way, our ST 44 has been a great boat for us and I'd recommend highly! Best of luck to you.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:19 PM   #112
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OK OK OK point taken but I always get very suspicious with boats for sale that have easy fixed visual problems and neither the owner or broker are worried about first impressions .
If I sell a item car /motorbike/boat / house ------- I always make sure its looking its best so to be able to refuse silly offers with the excuse of it need fixing . It small things that give a insite to the previous owner and there care factor like were the engines run flat out all its life and the owner just didn't care ?
I have seen this with low mileage cars that have been thrashed all there life but still look new. A bit like buying a second hand item you see the house looking 100% and you get the feeling this owner looks after there gear or you go to slum and think twice before getting out of the car

RANT OVER
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:13 AM   #113
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By the way, I installed a high water alarm in the main bilge area. I was afraid that I would not likely hear the one integrated with the (yellow) automatic bilge pump, which only sounds at the lower helm. The new alarm only sounds at the upper helm.
The only problem with this is that while underway, any water intrusion would likely drain aft to the Lazarette, which has no pump nor alarm.
I think I'll install a similar alarm back there. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:03 AM   #114
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FWIW,
Like any purchase it's all a matter of what the property (boat) is worth to the buyer. Also related is how much effort they want to put into it to make it perfect for them.
Of the property I've purchased over the years, there have been flaws with every one of them and NONE perfect, even the brand new things.

To just say walk away after a first look is certainly not good advise. Even if the boat was trashed, it still may be something the buyer wants (of course, if the price were right and he wanted to spend the effort to fix it).

Because the boat was probably not kept in the best condition, that could certainly be a bargaining chip.

This boat really looks like a no brainer. There's nothing significant that couldn't be resolved with reasonable buyer and seller, assuming they on the right page regarding price and repair items. Even if the oil issue were really significant, the seller would most likely have to fix it prior to sale so a price adjustment would be in order. That would not kill the deal, unless the seller was just stubborn and not willing to offer adjustments with items that were discovered in an inspection.

Personally, I'd go for it. It's a fine boat with lots of positive comments. Get the oil issue solved and proceed. Certainly an engine expert would be able to figure this out.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:04 PM   #115
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Looks like a reasonable seller. Taking care or giving credits for almost everything. It sounds like the oil leak is from the drain seal and not the actual turbo gasket. That is being looked at Wednesday. I am still curious if anyone has gotten Beneteau to cover the caulking if theirs has been riddled with mold/mildew?
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:11 PM   #116
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Maybe I missed it...but is the reason the owner is selling known ? A brand new boat is a huge decision and one that should be pretty well thought out by any reasonable person....not something that is done...and then undone so soon.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:22 PM   #117
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Maybe I missed it...but is the reason the owner is selling known ? A brand new boat is a huge decision and one that should be pretty well thought out by any reasonable person....not something that is done...and then undone so soon.
yes, wants to go bigger. i always prefer buying a 1-2 year old boat. let someone else take the initial depreciation hit!
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:28 PM   #118
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Maybe I missed it...but is the reason the owner is selling known ? A brand new boat is a huge decision and one that should be pretty well thought out by any reasonable person....not something that is done...and then undone so soon.
Perhaps with folks that don't have a ton of money, but there's folks that buy new and sell within a year or two and then buy again. I've got a friend that way. He probably spends a $mil on depreciation per year with is boats. Doesn't care. And there's a few folks that benefit from this.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:43 PM   #119
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Perhaps with folks that don't have a ton of money, but there's folks that buy new and sell within a year or two and then buy again. I've got a friend that way. He probably spends a $mil on depreciation per year with is boats. Doesn't care. And there's a few folks that benefit from this.
I'd love to be his broker !!
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