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post #4 of Old 11-10-2013
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Re: Sunk costs and boat purchasing

Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Seems like a smart move and it certainly worked out for you.
But it sounds like you went ahead with the sale and put the questionable money is escrow.

What exactly did the survey find on the rudder and what ended up being wrong.

Cracking and separation of the skin of the rudder in the vicinity of the rudder post coupled with a rather bad sounding impact test (according to the surveyor) led us to drilling a small (1/4" hole) in the bottom of the rudder from which roughly a quart of water drained. I indicated to the Seller that he could either agree to us doing an exploratory surgery, for which I would pay, or the deal was off and we'd simply fill and seal the test hole (but of course, knowing about the issue he and the brokers would be obligated to disclose the matter to any prospective buyers.) He agreed to that and we used a small hole saw to cut into the skin of the rudder and through the underlying foam to the armature which revealed rust and corrosion. The foregoing was done at Jabin's Boatyard on Back Creek in Annapolis. Annapolis Yacht Sales was the broker of record. The guy's at A&B Marine, also at Jabin's, did an estimate of the cost of repairs. We agreed to go ahead with the purchase so long as the Seller was willing to set aside the amount of the estimate to cover the repairs in an Escrow Account to be disbursed by the Broker when the repairs were done. With that we closed on the purchase, loaded the yacht on a low-boy and shipped her to our own yard, Snead Island Boat Works in Palmetto, Florida. They did the repair work although the cost came out somewhat more than the reserve (neither A&B Marine nor the Seller's nor SIBW's fault). Annapolis Yacht Sales promptly dispatched payment to SIBW out of escrow when the work was completed and accepted by us and I paid the overage (a risk of the game). Everyone was satisfied with the outcome and we have remained on good terms with the Seller in the years since. (He inadvertantly left a good deal of equipment on the boat that he could not possibly have intended to include in the sale--a Standard Horizon Hand Held Radio, a lovely costly Hocky-Puck hand bearing compass and a bunch of other gear that I would love to have had but would have had too guilty a conscience about that we packed up and shipped back to him in Virginia.) He and his wife subsequently purchased a new Beneteau 473, also through Annapolis Yacht Sales, but he later confided that had he the chance to do it over, he would have kept our/his former boat (me too!).

A good boat is like a good wife. Very hard to find and a little costly to maintain once she gets a bit older but infinitely reliable and worth more than Rubies in the long run.


"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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