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Old 03-20-2020, 01:05 PM   #1
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Dear Previous Owner/Surveyor

My vintage car club has a monthly feature: Dear Previous Owner which points out shortcomings they would have liked to known about prior to purchase or interesting followup for the PO like the lug nuts were loose on the right front wheel.

It seems like Dear PO would work here too.

E.g. Dear PO, it was really cool that you installed a fresh water toilet system on the Mainship 30 you sold me but you didnt realize that the bottom of the water tank is higher than the top of the toilet bowl. So that's why there is a shutoff valve in the engine room on the water tank. You told me you never used the toilet...now i know why.

And.... the new shore power battery is really cool but no one noticed that there is no combiner so the house batteries are not charged by the engine. Makes anchor outs dark.

best wishes

bruce
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:02 PM   #2
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Honestly, I'm a bit confused by both of these issues.

1) The shut-off on the water tank is nice, but should have no bearing on the freshwater head, unless the head was installed incorrectly.

2) The battery isolater should isolate draw between the House bank and the Starting Bank. I'm not sure what a 'shore power battery'is, but it sounds like the starting bank. Unless you install an Automatic Charging Relay, or start from the house bank, then the alternator wouldn't charge the house bank. This is a common configuration.

A generator would typically charge the house bank, or you can install an ACR to charge it while you run.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:18 PM   #3
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regarding the fresh water tank. i didnt explain clearly. the PO installed a new hea dedicated line from the freshwater tank in the engine room to the toilet bowl. the freshwater then drained out the tank by gravity into the toilet

with regard to the electrical system. there is no generator and there was no ACR so the only charging to the house bank was by the charger when hooked to shore power. most normal power boats charge with some sort of combining device from main engine to both banks, starter and house.

my point was these were "hidden defects" needing correction and overlooked by me, my broker, my surveyor and not mentioned but probably known by the PO
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:53 PM   #4
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Reminds me of looking at the GB36 woodie we purchased. Remember noticing that there was a 2nd rub rail lower than the first, closer to the water. Looked fairly recently replaced . . . new paint, etc. Seller glossed over it when asked about it, I didn't know enough to pursue it. Surveyor didn't find it unusual . . . 6 months after purchase, I found an estimate from a yard to replace rotten plank , 10" below existing rub rail on starboard side . . . The quote was quite expensive . . . the work wasn't accomplished, although new to the boat "rub rails" were added, right on top of the rotten plank . . . During haulout, I removed the plank, fashioned a new one, properly installed, caulked, etc, removed both new "rube" rails, since there weren't needed. Clearly the PO knew about the problem, elected not to repair it, covered over it instead, passing it off to us the new owners . . .
Whatever, we never let it spoil the boat for us, repaired it, went on with living life!
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Old 03-20-2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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Sailboat I bought for a song years back:

Dear PO, Very clever of you to get that propane stove working with minimal expense and hassle. But ... umm ... strapping a propane tank under the galley sink and plumbing it to the stove with no valves ... a couple feet from the gas engine ... say, hows your life insurance policy?
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:42 AM   #6
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In the military the boats go on for decades , the crew is replaced frequently.

Their system is the PDL, pass down log , which explains the how and why on operating the boat.

A PDL would be nice to find on looking at a purchase ( along with oil survey reports for a decade. )
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:19 AM   #7
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In the military the boats go on for decades , the crew is replaced frequently.

Their system is the PDL, pass down log , which explains the how and why on operating the boat.

A PDL would be nice to find on looking at a purchase ( along with oil survey reports for a decade. )
This concept is why I like buying used cars from people rather than dealers. And I'd want to have the PO at least available for questions on a boat purchase.

Even without a detailed log like that, you can still learn a lot about how the thing was used and cared for just from talking a bit. And sometimes pick up some operational tips too.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:30 AM   #8
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I have started doing a sort of a Pass Down Log. It's for my benefit also, as reference. For both my AC and DC electrical systems, I am documenting what each circuit breaker supplies in a spreadsheet. I consider this absoultely necessary. For example, I have a 12-volt line that supplies a fixture over the galley sink. It also supplies a 12-volt ceiling fan in the main cabin. The breaker panel is labelled merely "FAN". How would one know that that breaker also serviced the galley light, easily at least? I have also added many labels. For example, behind the medicine cabinet in our cabin head is located the shut-off to the water supply for the icemaker on the aft deck. I made a label for the inside of the door to alert the next owner of what lies behind. I also labelled the several water and waste pipes behind that cabinet. I have labelled many other items on the boat.

The next owner will appreciate my documentation even though it may not be complete.
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In the military the boats go on for decades , the crew is replaced frequently.

Their system is the PDL, pass down log , which explains the how and why on operating the boat.

A PDL would be nice to find on looking at a purchase ( along with oil survey reports for a decade. )
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:16 AM   #9
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When boat building we set up the wiring so each was labeled at the CB panel with the panel number and the wire number .

Each device and wire end was also labeled , so if item 3-4 did nor operate the 3rd panel would be checked for the 4th switch down.

Panel 1 was need to have , down to panel 6 , nice to have, and the first thing to secure if there was a battery or electrical problem .

Even panel 1 did not Have to be on, the bilge pump and burglar alarm were wired to the "always hot bus" , controlled by a fuse.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinajack View Post
I have started doing a sort of a Pass Down Log. It's for my benefit also, as reference. For both my AC and DC electrical systems, I am documenting what each circuit breaker supplies in a spreadsheet. I consider this absoultely necessary. For example, I have a 12-volt line that supplies a fixture over the galley sink. It also supplies a 12-volt ceiling fan in the main cabin. The breaker panel is labelled merely "FAN". How would one know that that breaker also serviced the galley light, easily at least? I have also added many labels. For example, behind the medicine cabinet in our cabin head is located the shut-off to the water supply for the icemaker on the aft deck. I made a label for the inside of the door to alert the next owner of what lies behind. I also labelled the several water and waste pipes behind that cabinet. I have labelled many other items on the boat.

The next owner will appreciate my documentation even though it may not be complete.

I'd like to buy a boat from you. This is great.


I keep a log of all (well, almost all) of the work I do, but nothing like that.


The PO of our current boat bought it new, barely used it (less than 100 hours) and didn't add anything at all to it. He did very little maintenance of any kind other than an oil change or two. So it was pretty straightforward. But our boat before this one, which was 30 years old when we bought it, took me years to figure out.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:48 PM   #11
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Buying anything other than a brand new boat really means buying the seller's story about the boat. The older the boat, the more the seller's story matters. After asking questions and listening to the answers for a while, you develop a sense of how straightforward the person is willing to be. When a yacht broker declines to connect me directly with the seller, I walk.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:40 AM   #12
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Buying anything other than a brand new boat really means buying the seller's story about the boat. The older the boat, the more the seller's story matters. After asking questions and listening to the answers for a while, you develop a sense of how straightforward the person is willing to be. When a yacht broker declines to connect me directly with the seller, I walk.
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Old 03-24-2020, 12:56 PM   #13
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As a buyer of a used boat, you have to go in with both eyes wide open. In my case, the seller was very forthright about the boat, its pluses and its minuses. It was up to me to make sure it had solid bones and its deficiencies could either be corrected by me or my wallet.

My boat has had at least 6 previous owners in its lifetime, and came with a lot of paperwork regarding maintenance repairs. As I tear into the boat making her mine, I am amazed at not what the prior owners have done, but the poor level of workmanship and jury rigging that so called boat yards have done.

A boat is absolutely a rabbit hole. For every job I start, it uncovers two or three that are going to have to be completed to finish the original job, but I don’t care. I take it in stride, it makes me that more familiar with my boat, lets me use my skills and gives me a big sense of satisfaction when I complete the job. I appreciate the OP thought process, as I have documented each repair/upgrade with what I have done, materials used and the why I did it the way I did. This along with the previous paperwork will be passed down to the new owners when I sell in the distant future.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:50 PM   #14
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This will be a very entertaining tread.
We have an older (1971) Egg Harbor, I have been in contact with 2 of the Previous owners who are wonderful and open about everything they did and did not do to the boat. The last owner bought it after a divorce, lived on it a few months and then let it sit for 4 years. He knows nothing about boats besides it looked cool and it was a cheap/fast place to find and call home. The owner before that spent a good bit of time and money upgrading everything he could. But never got to go out much after the refit due to a stroke. But all 3 of us have a few questions we never have figured out on our own yet...


#1. Why is there a 110 on/off switch mounted in a cabinet behind the couch? What does it do? All of us have tried tracing down the wires and just can not seam to find the ends, this includes the last two surveyors..

#2 Why is the boat painted red/white/blue but then named in Italian... I have pictures from the 1980's with the same paint set up and the same name..

#3 Why did the owner who spend huge $$ on sound insulation of the engine compartment remove the mufflers when he had it repowered? I can see where they use to mount....


#4 Why is there 15 different kinds of light assembly's installed? (yes we are changing them over to one standard marine stlye)


#5 Why is there 3 different switch for one overhead 12v light? All must be in the on position to get it to work... That took a bit to figure out..
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:53 AM   #15
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Dear Surveyor,

Take your temperature laser gun thing and point it into the frig and freezer, write the numbers down on the survey form.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:10 AM   #16
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Previous boats caused me to swear some at POs in years past.

But my present boat presented no such need.

The PO was totally upfront with any issues (and these were few) as he had thoroughly prepared my vessel for cruising.
He has always been available to ask questions and clarify any questions I have had.

I know I am very lucky in this.

Tim
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kokopelliTim View Post
Previous boats caused me to swear some at POs in years past.

But my present boat presented no such need.

The PO was totally upfront with any issues (and these were few) as he had thoroughly prepared my vessel for cruising.
He has always been available to ask questions and clarify any questions I have had.

I know I am very lucky in this.

Tim

I am the 4th owner of my boat and I have a great relationship with the last two POs. I know who the original owner is, but have not reached out since he sold the boat in 2002.


When I bought my boat I had to have it delivered out of Michigan fpr tax purposes. The captain I hired was a retired boat salesman. Coincidentally, he had sold my boat new in 1992 and used in 2002. He knew all three POs well. Small world. The boat has meticulously kept and has been wonderful.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:08 PM   #18
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Great idea for a thread.

Dear PO:

1. Thank you for the wonderful wire nut collection. Since I remove them as I find them, I have a supply that should last me a lifetime.

2. Thank you for teaching what "I don't use that" means. It evidently means that every part of that system, in this case the waste system, needs to be replaced from the dip tube to the vent tube.

3. Thank you for verifying that I am not color blind and can actually see (once I get the electrical tape and wire nuts off) that red wires are connected to black, yellow to red and ground AND hot wires to purple (purple?).
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:54 AM   #19
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"Buying anything other than a brand new boat really means buying the seller's story about the boat."

I believe purchasing a brand new larger boat with out a pre delivery survey might be many rimes more dangerous.

Proper construction and assembly is far harder than just maint.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:24 AM   #20
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Dear PO. Thank you for not telling me the aft head was only good for one flush! Finding the 21 foot long, 1.5" discharge line 99 percent solid rock was such a treat! Complete joy cutting that all out and replacing.
On the other hand, thank you for the brand new 25" spare propeller that was not on the listing buried under the 13 empty (and leaking) used oil jugs.
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