Problems while buying a boat - need advice please - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-23-2004 Thread Starter
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

The quick background is that I found a 1966 Pearson Wanderer that seemed to be the right boat for me to buy. Made an offer, it was accepted pending the survey. Survey came and went with minimal issues and those were being addressed by the current owner at the boatyard of his chosing. This is/was going to be the first boat I own.

Today I found out from the boatyard (the owner is on vacation) that while servicing a seacock, they either punctured the hose, or somehow the hose ruptured. This was not known until after they put the boat back in the water and let it sit overnight.

The boat was found the next morning riding low in the water, with water in the cabin up to the seat cushions (maybe 18 to 24 inches?).

Obviously this is a problem for the boatyard and the seller primarily, but includes me, as well. I have given earnest money to the seller (this is not through a broker) and have no doubt he would return the money if I were to back out of the deal, so that is not an issue.

The question becomes, what do I need to be aware of with regards to the boat? Currently, the starter and alternator have been removed and will be replaced (I have no clue if it is new parts, new refurbished, or sunk refurbished). The batteries and all electical switches low enough to be underwater are to be replaced. I''m planning on asking for the oil in the engine and transmission to be drained and replaced and the fuel tank drained and refilled.

What happens if there is water in the oil for either engine or transmission? I''m sure this would not be good, but don''t know since it was not run (I assume).

I have not seen the boat yet, but will be checking it out this saturday.

Is this something that I should just walk away from and figure it is a sign from the boat gods? Or negotiate a new selling price with the owner, and let him take up the loss of money with the boatyard? Would it be unreasonable to expect the boatyard to pay for a survey or inspection of the engine and transmission from an independent person?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Garrett
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-23-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Was this in salt or fresh water? Gas or diesel?

Any of the electrical system parts need to be replaced with NEW. If they don''t use new, you will have problems later. Make sure they replace any wireing that got wet also. It will look ok now but will corode later. I would want the oil changed 3 times or until it comes out clean with no sign of water.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-23-2004 Thread Starter
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

This occurred at Masonboro boatyard in Wilmington, NC. It sank (I guess this qualifies as sinking) in saltwater and has a diesel engine.

The more I think about it the more I''m leaning towards walking away (unless I get a massive discount on the price).

The original sale price was $17,000 with all of the gear. Any suggestions on a new sale price?
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-23-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Don''t walk from this boat, run!

Salt water and boat interiors and mechanicals don''t mix well, and anything that got wet is at risk. Certainly, any electrical or mechanical componenent that got wet should be replaced. Discussion of changing the oil is disconcerting - does that mean the engine was largely immersed? Yikes. Who needs the possible future headaches! You can''t just knock off some dough (say $4000) and figure you gotta be covered - not necessarily, that would be only a partial payment on a new engine.
Chock the survey cost up to bad luck, and run.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-23-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Agree with sailingfool; if the engine was underwater you will probably have problems down the line. In the very least I would INSIST that another survey be done (his dime) and see the results of said survey. Depending on his insurance settlement this boat may still be a legit buy.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-23-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Walk Away!!! Let the seller come after you and try to put a deal together. He should be receiving an insurance settlement that rightfully should be for the re-fit of the boat. After all, there has been damage, there should be an insurance settlement, and this should all go to making the boat right...not for the sellers pocket. Good luck, John Gov.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-24-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Hello,

Not only would I walk away from the boat, I would try to recover the cost of the survey. When I bought my boat, the contract had language that stipulated if the deal did not go through due to the owner''s fault, I got back my deposit, plus any money I paid for the survey.

I think this qualifies as the owner''s fault, since the yard was working for him.

Good luck,

Barry
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-27-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Garrett

Did you actually buy the boat before this happened or just place a deposit?

If you signed stuff and bought it I would think that it is your problem and not the previous owners. If on the other hand you had just announced your intention to buy it then it is his problem and not yours. You should also check out whether deposits are actually refundable. It is my understanding that a deposit in the amount of 10% is made with an offer. If the buyer backs out of the sale the deposit is often forfeit.

Thoughts to ponder ...

Mike

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-27-2004 Thread Starter
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Mike,

The owner and I had agreed to a price and I had given him earnest money (no broker) but I did not own the boat. He has already offered to return my earnest money.

My original plan was to sit by and see what gets fixed and to what standard, but have now changed my mind after viewing the boat in person (post sinking).

It is my opinion that Masonboro is not doing much in an effort to save the boat and the condition of it is worsening as the clock ticks. The interior has not been hosed down with freshwater, there is no real effort to dry the boat out, it''s just sitting there dieing.

I''m going to get my earnest money back from the buyer (as he offered) and I''m going to get Masonboro to reimburse me for the cost of the survey (I''ll go to small claims if I need to). The boat sank due to the boatyards negligence and the boat and survey are worthless at this point.

We''ll see how things proceed, but I''m looking for another boat now.

Garrett
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-27-2004
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Problems while buying a boat - need advice please

Good luck Garrett.

Sounds like the seller you were dealing with is a decent individual. Probably also has insurance.

Wise choice on your part.

Regards

Mike
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