For about five years, a 35' sloop has been sitting on a stand in a far inland location, and for the past year or so I've thought about making an offer on it.
35' mid-70s (old classic plastic) fiberglass production sloop with relatively new Yanmar 3GM, nominal displacement 11,000-12,000 lbs.
on stand/cradle, no trailer, 150 miles from nearest marina or marine facilities, 800 miles from ocean
(Boat had been slipped in Southern California but owner left dropped it off in the middle of the country thinking he might eventually retire on it in the Caribbean; instead he and his spouse bought a bigger boat. If I bought it, I'd be taking it to the ocean, either back to Cali or Gulf of Mexico.)
My truck could likely tow it to get it to water (2000 year model F450 7.3 diesel fifth-wheel, 18,000+ lb. towing) and a friend has a suitable trailer that could be borrowed (would need to adjust because it has a gooseneck fitting), but loading the boat would need a mobile crane rental for maybe around $1,000.
What I've noticed about the boat that I'd want to change:
gate valves for through-hulls
some of the deck penetrations were not re-done by the previous owner and the deck has been exposed to rain and snow
flimsy bow rail, no bow hardware for anchoring convenience (lacks roller, windlass
older electronics, somewhat worn interior
one small suspect area on surface of rudder
is very likely toast, and running rigging
may need checking
some aluminum corrosion at mast step (deck stepped mast) that was just enough to make me nervous
(various other stuff I'd like to add or change here and there)
Positives -- quite a bit of equipment on board, I somewhat know the previous owners and generally respect their habits and competence, steering cables feels good, new engine looks very pretty.
I have learned to do moderate boat work (simple installations, rough fiberglass work, basic maintenance) but really like having someone more experienced help me with critical stuff or things I've never done before. I grew up on the ocean and have basic boating and safety sense and have sailed and owned mostly smaller keelboats, with a few bigger-boat charters, plus plenty of book larnin' and classes.
The thread about looking at a boat on the hard was good, as were SailingDog's general self-survey instructions.
How do I price an offer to account for the uncertainty of buying a boat on the hard, one which cannot readily be launched or inexpensively be visited by a professional surveyor?
I'm thinking it would have to be worth at least 20% less than it would be in or near a slip; i.e. a boat that would sell on the ocean for $25,000 (etc.) might be worth something more like $20,000 or less (etc.) or less in these unusual circumstances.
Possibly, it might work to make an offer that puts some of the purchase price into escrow, contingent on survey within, say, 60 days of buying the boat, but this would make the deal so much more complicated, especially with taking a long time to get the boat to a surveyor, that the owner might want to run away from a complicated deal.
Any thoughts about how to make this safe for the buyer and fair for both parties and not too complicated would be very welcome.