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Old 02-22-2010
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Education On the Buying Process Please

First off: my experience.

I've sailed and owned small sailboats. I've helped others learn to sail and navigate sail and motor boats up to 35'.

So I am in the market for a liveaboard sloop/ketch in the 38-45' range. We are looking in the 100K+ range or so and are finding a lot of good possibilities.

I am also taking the time to educate myself on what I'm going to need to make all this happen.

The process, as I understand it, from talking to brokers and reading is:

1) find boat
2) look it over carefully
3) provide an offer, contingent on passing a survey and sea trials.
4) if owner accepts contingent offer
5) arrange and complete survey
6) if seaworthy, do sea trials
7) counter offer, if necessary, based on performance of survey and sea trials

So, if that is correct...if not, you are invited to tell me I'm wrong.

A few questions:

1) Why in the hell would I make an offer on a boat that I have no idea how it sails? I am not interested in joy riding yachts this summer and wasting broker and seller time.

2) Why would I spend a thousand or so (haul out plus surveyor fee) for a boat I haven't sailed?

I think my sticking point is really the survey. I don't want to get into a situation where I don't know how the boat sails (if I'll like it and think it's suitable for our needs) but go spending money on a survey anyway.

I try to be an honest seller and buyer. I don't yank people around. I don't waste people's time looking at items I don't have the capability of purchasing. In this instance, I'm not looking at million dollar Swan sloops. I completely understand the need for the broker/seller to qualify me in some reasonable manner before I get to be on their boat with my hands on the wheel.

So, if I'm way off here, or don't understand the process, please feel free to educate me. I have no problem with being ignorant. It's only a crime if I don't fix it.

Thanks in advance.
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