Everyone who doesn't have the expertise to know for themselves how much the repairs will cost, or if they are possible.
For example, I once bought a collectors car that had serious engine problems. I made an offer based on my guess of what repairs would cost, but made the offer contingent on a mechanic checking it over. Once the mechanic told me exactly what the repairs would require (a whole new engine) I revised my offer based on that. In the end, I bought the car.
I have done the exact same when buying a house. Offer based on what I know, contingent on inspection. When the inspection revealed some unknowns the offer was modified.
Honestly, I don't know how else you think it COULD work.
The comment about "asking price that ignores the damage" is irrelevant. The seller can ask whatever they want. I can offer whatever I want. My offer will be based on what I know about what I'm buying (regardless of whether that is a house, a car, or a boat), and on what I consider it to be worth. It will NOT be based on what the seller is asking. The survey/inspection will inform me about things that I don't know.
So now I'm beginning to wonder, is it that you assume you have to offer 10% off of the sellers asking price (or some other number like that), rather than ignoring the asking price and offering what you think the item is worth? You keep bringing up what the seller is asking, and how they don't want to account for the needed repairs. Who cares? Again, the seller can ask whatever they want. I'm only going to offer what I think it is worth, taking into account what I already know, and contingent on having someone who is more knowledgeable than me tell me what I don't know. This is not backwards. This is exactly how it should, and does, work for almost all big-ticket items--cars, houses, boats, airplanes, etc.
Denver i think we are missing each other on this one.
If the mast problem had done serious damage to the hull, hull/keel joint, deck hull joint, the deck, the mast, the hull liner, the cost to fix all these items could exceed the value of the boat. That being the case, should I have offered zero? Damage to all these areas was within the realm of possibility, which is why i walked away from this one.
To my point, it makes no sense to have to make offers in the blind, and then pay someone to tell you you need to walk away from this one. The non disclosure on the part of sellers/brokers, IMO, borders on fraudulent behavior. Instead of telling you what they already know, they tell you to figure it out for yourself. There should be disclosure up front. With that disclosure an informed buying decision can be made.