Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?
A lot of great ideas have been expressed and their is a lot to learn from probably hundreds of years and hundreds of boat deals the posters have collectively brought to this thread.
I think that to a very large extent a 35' or larger boat is practically unknowable. The owner doesn't know everything, the surveyor can't find out everything and the buyer knows the least.
The reason we have had so many posts is that their are so many issues involved along with a significant amount of money.
1. Every boat has surprises (see above)
2. Every surprise costs a lot of money.
3. Every seller has different moral values. One seller would disclose a hard grounding that was properly repaired. Another seller may feel that since the repair was made professionally the boat is a good as new and mentioning it would just worry a jittery buyer. Another seller self inspected and figured their was no damage and keeps his mouth shut. He is right or maybe wrong. How hard was hard? Is it a lead or iron keel? Does the bilge leak?
I'm not defending hiding a defect to sell a boat but so often the defect is opinion. How soft is a soft deck? How much water is the bilge is allowed? How much smoke of what color is the engine allowed to make for how long after starting?
I'm going to make a controversial statement that even I don't necessarily believe.
It might however spark some new thoughts.
I would guess that if every seller and broker and surveyor told every new boat buyer everything that they knew, thought of and were worried about for a given boat that no boats would ever be sold as all buyers would be scared off.
It is almost as if ignorance is a necessary part of the buying process. No matter how much experience you have even if you have 50 years surveying experience when you buy your own boat the ignorance will kick in an you will convince yourself that the boat only needs x when if you were not emotionally involved you would estimate 3x.
There is so much judgement and opinion as to what is suitable and what has to be replaced that the current process whereby the seller mostly keeps his own counsel and the surveyor does the best he can and the buyer foots the bill is not likely to change anytime soon.
What could be useful is for someone to create an on-line repository of surveys for boats for sale.
If you paid $600 for a survey and rejected the boat and I was interested in the boat I would be willing to pay $100 to see your survey even if it was a couple months old.
I would probably want to buy my own survey but for $100 bucks it would be interesting to see why you rejected it.
I doubt if a website like this could survive as the market is so small and people are so emotional and a lot of people if they liked the boat would want to sit on it until the boat price came down.
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
Last edited by davidpm; 08-01-2013 at 12:47 AM.