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  #221  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
The same can be said of every other piece of disclosed information that is shared with a potential buyer. However, unlike all the other information, the survey comes from a neutral, licensed third party, so his biases are less likely to be swayed by self-interest.
I think that is mostly true but unfortunately not always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Define "giving it away." If protected by copyright, then there is no need to make a copy. Just show the existing copy to the potential buyer. If it was shared with the seller, the chain of confidentiality has been broken already.
Is that a legal opinion or an opinion? I have seen surveys that state they are the property of the surveyor and are not to be shared without his permission. I am wondering what the law is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Question for the brokers: Why shouldn't your response be, "Sorry, the YBAA Code of Ethics prevents me from lying when directly questioned about your boat." It would seem to me that this is the only acceptable response. Any other answer is a violation of section 1.3 and/or 1.4 of the YBAA Code of Ethics:
Again, is that a legal opinion or an opinion? Can an agent of the seller act in any way against the sellers interest? I am wondering what the law is.
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  #222  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

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Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
You might have been raised by attorneys but so what? You are no more qualified to answer the legal question than if you had been raised by wolves. OK, redundant, never mind.
Wolves don't drill into their pups heads to scour every word of any contract they sign. But wolves can't hold a pen anyway.

Broker, buyer and seller all want to be protected in the sales process because of the the amount of money involved in many of the transactions. That's perfectly understandable.

As a percent of purchase price, I can't think of any any major purchase that leaves a buyer with a potential for greater expenses than a boat. And most contracts (if not all) specifically state that once the sale is closed there are no warranties, implied or otherwise. Paragraph 17 of the YBAA contract is a perfect example of that.

There are lemon laws for cars sold. There are laws protecting a buyer, after the sale, from fraud and failure to disclose when buying a home. I know of no laws protecting a boat buyer after the sale. Maybe there aren't enough lawmakers who own boats.

It's been said many times that upfront and honest disclosure about the known condition of a boat could mean no boats would ever be sold. That implies that either the boating industry is rife with deceit (and that's why boats sell) or the cost of owning a boat is so great many who purchase a boat shouldn't have because they couldn't afford it in the first place (ignorance), leaving too many boats in poor condition. Or something in between.

If the boating industry today was comprised of owners who had a full understanding of the cost of owning a boat, there wouldn't be as many boats out there as there are now. That would mean a smaller market but it would also mean the value of boats would be higher than it is in any given economy.

But it seems the industry that exists today relies on a certain level of buyer ignorance to fuel sales. There's an element of that in any major purchase that has a high level of emotions fueling it. The only difference is the lack of any laws (again, as far as I know) that protect the buyer from fraud after the sale.

I had a conversation with the owner of one of the boats we will be seeing. I got the impression he was very upfront and honest about the condition of the boat. He told me something that had killed an earlier deal. I feel if we entered into a contract, I would know everything he knows. That's about as perfect a relationship between buyer and seller you can get, IMHO. When you know what you're getting into, it's easier to make the purchase.

OTOH, if the seller plays Where's Waldo and leaves it to the buyer to find anything that would kill the deal, to me, that's the worst buyer - seller relationship you can have. And it hurts the boating industry and lowers the value of boats in general.
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  #223  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

"However, unlike all the other information, the survey comes from a neutral, licensed third party,"
Really now ?!

In what state are marine surveyors licensed by what government entity?

Maybe privately credentialed by some independent organization of debateable standards, but never licensed in the US, in my limited knowledge.

And as to being independent, every written article on surveying for at least the last 50 years will tell you, don't ask the yard or the broker for a surveyor, because they have to work and play and live together, and it isn't impossible for one hand to scratch the other, as happens in almost every trade and every community.

A survey beats nothing. But surveyors, like cops and Congressmen, are still sometimes only human. And they're not licensed either, are they?
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  #224  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"However, unlike all the other information, the survey comes from a neutral, licensed third party,"
Really now ?!

In what state are marine surveyors licensed by what government entity?

Maybe privately credentialed by some independent organization of debateable standards, but never licensed in the US, in my limited knowledge.

And as to being independent, every written article on surveying for at least the last 50 years will tell you, don't ask the yard or the broker for a surveyor, because they have to work and play and live together, and it isn't impossible for one hand to scratch the other, as happens in almost every trade and every community.

A survey beats nothing. But surveyors, like cops and Congressmen, are still sometimes only human. And they're not licensed either, are they?
I never said they aren't human. Everyone has biases. Let's put it this way - the surveyor is the one guy in the transaction who has "no skin in the game" if you are careful to pick one who is not in cahoots with the broker or other interested parties.

When I said "licensed" I picked the wrong word. Sue me. There are independent certifications based on training, and they have to be maintained. That's no guarantee of quality, but it beats no training at all.

I've only hired a surveyor once, so I'm no expert (but I'm more of an expert than some people here who have never hired a surveyor). When I was interviewing potential surveyors four years ago, two of the candidates declined because their business had declined so much that it was no longer worth their money to keep their certifications current (their words, not mine). They had basically left the business because they refused to do surveys without their certifications. It was upon these statements that I surmised that there is at least one certification process for surveyors. Is it required? I'm sure it's not, and you can go hire any damned stooge you want, if that's what it takes to prove your point.
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  #225  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Certifications? And two of the surveyors closed up shop because they couldn't afford their dues, or business was slow?

That sure wouldn't impress me. Kinda like a guy saying he used to own a five-star restaurant, but he closed because it was such a bother keeping the kitchen clean.

What nonsense, and still a far cry from anything like "licensing". Possibly the largest organization for marine surveypors in the US is SAMS and their incredibly high admissions standard calls for one take-home exam and one "I swear I'm a surveyor, really":

1.SAMS® Application (included in Membership Packet)
2.SAMS® Admissions Exam (included in Membership Packet)
3.Submit one survey for each of last five years of active surveying
4.Resume
5.Business Card
6.Notarized affidavit attesting completion of 12 surveys per year for each of the last five years
7.$150.00 non-refundable application fee

Unless they actually go back and obtain your business records and contact past customers, that's not a terribly hard list to fill, is it? And it really doesn't prove that someone is sober, hardworking, or on the mark.

Sue you? No, but I'd like to let anyone who finds the thread know for sure that unlike engineers and architects, marine surveyors are totally unlicensed, are not subject to any review of professional standards, and are strictly a matter of luck and reputation.

Would licensing be any improvement? Probably not. Plenty of restaurants fail their health inspections year after year, and stay in business.
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  #226  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Dude,

I think you're too obsessed with nit-picking my statement, and you've gotten off focus from my primary point.

If a seller has a boat that has been surveyed in the recent past, I would want to see the survey(s). Period. End of story. All your allegations about lousy surveyors don't matter to me. I want to see the survey(s). I'd be happy to hear the broker's argument of why the survey was wrong - I'm a reasonable person. I'd even look the boat over myself and might come to the conclusion that the surveyor was wrong. But don't pretend (or lie) that a survey wasn't done, and make me waste money to hire a surveyor who will tell me the same thing. I should be able to decide for myself whether the issue is worth a second opinion from a different surveyor. At the very least, I need to know who did the prior survey(s) so I don't hire the same surveyor the last guy did. That's not a second opinion at all.

A "fair and honest description of the vessel" should include that disclosure.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 08-04-2013 at 09:55 PM.
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  #227  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
...Can an agent of the seller act in any way against the sellers interest? I am wondering what the law is.
I'm not a lawyer, but I am an ethical person.

If there are known material facts that detract from the value of the boat, a "fair and honest description of the vessel" must include them. If "the law" prevents the broker from disclosing these facts because it is "against the seller's interest," then "the law" prevents the broker from complying with section 1.4 of the YBAA Code of Ethics.

If any lawyers care to take this on, please cite the specific statute that prevents the broker from making such disclosures.
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  #228  
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

I'm not obsessed with your statement. I just was pointing out that you don't know what a surveyor really is. He's just a guy, he's not a licensed professional of some kind.

Now, one your larger point of wanting to see any surveys that might have been done in the last few years, and whether a broker or seller is entitled to lie? By law, that kind of lie would be called "fraud" and if that state had a "duty to inform" regarding material defects, the lie could be actionable. But since there's little to no chance you'd ever know about it, and horse traders have been known to lie...Good luck with that. I don't think you know the playing field. The broker is a pro, he's not your friend and he's going to keep his moth shut and say "I don't know" about anything that might hurt his sale, unless it can be proven that he does know.

With rare exception.
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  #229  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
But it seems the industry that exists today relies on a certain level of buyer ignorance to fuel sales. There's an element of that in any major purchase that has a high level of emotions fueling it.
That's what I've been saying. The only real, but only partial, defence is knowing what you are looking at.

Julie is working hard on that job.
Can't blame a girl for getting educated.
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  #230  
Old 08-04-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
CONTRACT OF SALE
THIS CONTRACT OF SALE is made this ____ day of ______________, 20____, by and between that the Sailboat is in normal operating condition for a vessel of its age; and that Seller has no knowledge of any material defect(s) in the Sailboat, patent or latent, except as follows:__________________________________________ _ __________________________________________________ ___________.
James I completely understand the intent of this document. I would like to mention a possible unintended side effect however.

Some people, like me for example, are by nature very cautious in business.
So if someone made me an offer on a boat I had for sale and handed me a custom contract instead of the standard contract I've got to tell you it would spook me.

My reaction would be make to make my counter offer for the property as is where is. I wouldn't even represent the property as a boat. If you think it is a boat and want to buy it that is fine. If you think it would make a nice lawn ornament and want to buy it that's fine too. This would be even if I had 100% confidence in the boat and had turned over a 100 page maintenance log.

The reason is that I would interpret a custom contract of any kind as a form of aggression on your part. You have the total right to do as you wish but this action would franky scare me.
If I found out you were a lawyer or raised by lawyers or had lawyers in your family I would be even more spooked. If I found out that you were a new boater I would be even more spooked.

Maybe I'm too timid but the language of that document with undefined "normal operating condition" would cause me to immediately think of lawsuits. I would think of the dozens of times I've cursed a previous owner and think that now I'm going to be the PO.

I would think that someone asking me to sign a non-standard contract is trying to trick me. If have to hire my own lawyer there will definitely be a few hundred dollar extra expense on my side.

Now if I knew you and knew you were not litigious and a reasonable person but just a guy that liked to write his own contracts I would sign it no problem.

So the final point is that every seller has a different tolerance for risk. It is very possible that if you insist on this contract you may walk away from a very good boat from a low tolerance very honest person and buy a not so good boat from a high tolerance hardened lier who figures that one more pending lawsuit doesn't matter.

I know your motives are pure and simple, "Just tell me the facts bro".
I'm just letting you know that right or wrong certain actions can be misinterpreted by people who don't know you.
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