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post #230 of Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
THIS CONTRACT OF SALE is made this ____ day of ______________, 20____, by and between that the Sailboat is in normal operating condition for a vessel of its age; and that Seller has no knowledge of any material defect(s) in the Sailboat, patent or latent, except as follows:__________________________________________ _ __________________________________________________ ___________.
James I completely understand the intent of this document. I would like to mention a possible unintended side effect however.

Some people, like me for example, are by nature very cautious in business.
So if someone made me an offer on a boat I had for sale and handed me a custom contract instead of the standard contract I've got to tell you it would spook me.

My reaction would be make to make my counter offer for the property as is where is. I wouldn't even represent the property as a boat. If you think it is a boat and want to buy it that is fine. If you think it would make a nice lawn ornament and want to buy it that's fine too. This would be even if I had 100% confidence in the boat and had turned over a 100 page maintenance log.

The reason is that I would interpret a custom contract of any kind as a form of aggression on your part. You have the total right to do as you wish but this action would franky scare me.
If I found out you were a lawyer or raised by lawyers or had lawyers in your family I would be even more spooked. If I found out that you were a new boater I would be even more spooked.

Maybe I'm too timid but the language of that document with undefined "normal operating condition" would cause me to immediately think of lawsuits. I would think of the dozens of times I've cursed a previous owner and think that now I'm going to be the PO.

I would think that someone asking me to sign a non-standard contract is trying to trick me. If have to hire my own lawyer there will definitely be a few hundred dollar extra expense on my side.

Now if I knew you and knew you were not litigious and a reasonable person but just a guy that liked to write his own contracts I would sign it no problem.

So the final point is that every seller has a different tolerance for risk. It is very possible that if you insist on this contract you may walk away from a very good boat from a low tolerance very honest person and buy a not so good boat from a high tolerance hardened lier who figures that one more pending lawsuit doesn't matter.

I know your motives are pure and simple, "Just tell me the facts bro".
I'm just letting you know that right or wrong certain actions can be misinterpreted by people who don't know you.

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.
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