Well, I have two experiences to relate. Almost bought a (boat) spring of 2011. Was a little leery of the seller to begin w/ due to the circumstances and he really was pushing to complete the sale. I wanted to get a survey (which he said would not be grounds to renegotiate). I was happy w/ that as it was a good price. I just wanted to be sure the boat was as advertised and had no inherent, serious defects. Found out that the rudder was completely delaminated as well as the cored transom soaked. And being the rudder had had the bearings replaced just a couple years earlier he had to know. ( I found out later that was the case!) While the survey is ongoing, he's calling me to find out when it will be over, how soon can he get the $$$, he REALLY needs to get this deal done. He also was telling me that he was selling to concentrate on family issues, his mom was sick, kids, etc.. blahblahblah. I was already pissed b/c he wasn't straight w/ me about known defects.
I had a call in to someone I knew could give me a straight answer on the approx. cost to fix the few things the survey turned up and I told the seller this in the late afternoon. Told him I would have an answer in the morning but I was still intending to go through w/ the deal; I just wanted to know what I was getting into. He went ballistic, ranted, raved, yelled. To his credit he did call back later w/ an apology.
However, I went home and thought about it and decided I didn't NEED this boat and I didn't want a boat that came w/ that bad karma and if anything else turned up I'd be pi$$ed at myself. Told him to take a hike. Found out later that the whole time he was working the deal w/ me and I was lining up a surveyor he was playing someone else too! Oh, and he was selling and had to get it done b/c he was buying a bigger boat! Which I saw him in later that summer. Glad I walked.
Now the boat I DID buy several months later... Having looked at a LOT of boats that were in crappy condition, I called the broker and he told me it was a one owner boat and the guy was an engineer, the boat was in really good condition and he told me what was lacking- windlass, dodger, refrigeration. I said okay, wife and I flew up to see the boat.
Having been around boats, worked on boats and read the boat buying trip thread here
decided things looked pretty good. Ended up making an offer and came to terms. Flew back up for the survey. Turned out my impressions were spot on.
BUT the survey did turn up some things I would NOT have known about. Need overcurrent breaker, galvanic isolator, new propane line. Few other minor things. Needed them done before launching for insurance purposes. I had these things done up north at a cost of about $1500. Otherwise a fine boat. We did ask for some relief on the price b/c of the survey but the owner said no. I was okay w/ that; never hurts to ask. I could have walked but the boat really was (is) a nice boat and it was a fair deal.
Do your research, know what you're looking at and take your time. Don't let someone rush you into a deal. Boats are NOT a necessity.