Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 315 Times in 295 Posts
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It sounds like you've seen the boat and find it acceptable. If you are totally unfamiliar with inspecting a boat, I might consider reading up and taking another look. You want to minimize your chances that you waste money on a survey, which will be entirely at your expense. Overall, I look for the story on how it was care for, more than trying to find specific discrepancies. The professional surveyor can find those better than I. Stored well, cleaned well, broken stuff fixed timely, etc. It doesn't have to be perfect, something will need repair. I try to get a sense of whether the owner was attentive or tried to defer everything.
The reason I find this important is that the survey will only tell you what is wrong in the moment. If she wasn't cared for properly, you can guarantee you will have premature failure of many things that pass the survey test today.
If she passes this test, you have to research a fair price and make a reasonable offer, subject to a survey and anything else you may require (financing, insurance, transport, whatever). The more contingencies, the less attractive your offer. Most expect to negotiate, so offering a bit below what you are willing to pay is customary. Some will say to agree to anything and then try to pound it down after the survey identifies every little scratch. I disagree with that approach. I suggest you agree to a price that you are willing to pay if the survey confirms that she is in the condition you believe. The survey may find things you are unfamiliar with or that cause concern. Your two remedies should be to either walk away or ask the seller to pay to repair them for your agreed price. You may want to control or inspect the repair process.
When it comes to closing, that's another matter. I highly recommend a closing/escrow agent that is contracted to do title searches and file registration or documentation paperwork.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.