Re: question for experienced boat owners
Firstly, as you seem to have repeated your post several times and have several different threads going concurrently, it would be wise to contact one of the moderators and ask him/her to combine your various threads into a single thread (for the sake of convenience). That is not difficult and will make keeping track of suggestions/comments, easier for you.
Next, HelloSailor's suggestions, above, are good ones. Fortunately, there are a number of good brokerage businesses in the San Diego area that can handle to liquidation of the boat. As noted, there is no particular need for you to have a survey done as any buyer in the price range the boat will list at will certainly order one him- or herself. However, an "in the water" survey might be worth considering as, in boat sales, "little things mean a lot" and correcting minor imperfections can have a substantial impact on the marketability and price offered for the boat. As HelloSailor pointed out, cleanliness (and clean smelling) can also make a big difference when selling a boat so getting her "ship shape" behooves your efforts to maximize the yacht's value. Be sure to ask the brokers you speak with about arrangements for keeping the yacht clean. A cleaning/wash down should be done at least monthly, and ideally, every time before a prospective buyer inspects the yacht. Only a few of the brokers I know of include a maintenance regime in their services although most can arrange for that as it will enhance their efforts to sell the boat.
On a relatively smaller yacht, one also wants to eliminate "clutter" (which increases the perception of size/roominess) so it is wise to remove any unnecessary personal gear, stores and the like, leaving only equipment that particularly pertains to the boat aboard, properly stowed and in good order. One might also want to remove gear that, while pertaining to sailing, will not add to the perceived value of the yacht but might be worthwhile separately, in and of itself, if sold (items such as hand-held VHF radios, binoculars, hand-bearing compasses et al). Your broker might be able to help you with that but I would be more inclined to trust the judgment of a knowledgeable friend with nothing to gain in the transaction.
As you indicated you already have an attorney working on the descendant's estate, it will be important for you to determine whether it is in your best interest to transfer title to you as the sole heir (if that is so); or, whether it is better to have the yacht sold by the Executor of the Estate. This is a inheritance tax matter and can have important ramifications for you as California is a notoriously voracious tax venue. It may be that simply moving the yacht out of State could save you quite a good deal of money. (Several people I know that lived in the area actually moved their boats to Ensenada when they decided to sell for that reason.)
A couple of other things you'll need to check into are the existing arrangements for the yacht's berthing/mooring, the registration of the yacht and its renewal; and, the insurance on the yacht. Since it will be going into a brokerage situation, you might be able to save a good deal of money by resetting the limits of coverage to a Port coverage, only. You may also need to amend the beneficiary of the insurance coverage.
Hopefully the foregoing will be helpful. I'm sure others here abouts will also have worth while suggestions.
"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."
Last edited by svHyLyte; 12-05-2012 at 01:06 PM.