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Old 12-23-2004
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Buying Boat in Winter

"your" broker would still be a participating broker paid a share of the seller''s broker fees. I think the real values of "your "broker are:
1. someone who knows how things work and can advise you how to best structure a purchase process.
2. most of all, someone who you can rely to do msot of the footwork to find satisfactory puchase candidates. Finding a good example of a particluar style or quality boat can involve "kissing a lot of frogs" before you find a prince. Brokers all know each other and will share information more honestly to each other than to a strange buyer - save a dozen or so trips here and there by letting the broker do the foot work..

good luck.
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Old 12-24-2004
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Buying Boat in Winter

Interesting... well I bought my boat on the hard in feb last year. I knew what I wanted... I emailed witrh the owner and he send me pictures and stuff. Than I met the folks at CHicago Boat show. We talked and I told him I will buy it. After I looked at her. Drove 6 hours to Michagan the next weekend, checked her over and gave him a check. Boat got delivered a month later.

Now after a year sailing i did not regret anything.

I am wondering about that sea trial business, isnt that a little overrated? What do you think you gonna find ?
I would be pretty un-aproachable about that if I had my boat for sale. I see a lot of other folks in the marina who are trying to sell their boats spending weekend after weekend with people tire kickin and a nice sail as a reward for being interested. 90 % of those never been seen again ( even if there is nothing wrong with the boat !)

If my boat is on the trailer. You would pay me dearly to launch her again, put the mast up , get her de-winterized and than reverse everything again..... plus a 500 bucks non refundable sea trial charge. I would tell you to look at the trophy in the clubhouse instead of spending a lot of time and money sea-trialing

Sure sounds tuff, and I might even loose a sale, but if my handshake ( and word) aint good enough thats what it would boil down to.

In other words. if it is a real expensive boat get a good surveyeor and ask around how she sails.


p.s. let us know what boat you are lookin at and whats the asking price...
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Old 12-25-2004
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Buying Boat in Winter

I agree Thor ,If you are not sure of what your buying get someone who does.Most boats that I have bought at this time of the year I low balled it and anything i wasn`t sure of I factored in a worst case scenario and put it in my offer accordingly.Most boats that are for sale now were for sale long ago,as a buyer you have a major advantage.
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Old 12-26-2004
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Buying Boat in Winter


I think the main reason to perform a sea trial is to test the engine and transmission. How else are you going to verify that they work? Take the owner''s word for it? Not with my money on the line!

If I were buying a boat I would not expect a sea trial without a signed contract. However, if I did sign a contract I would insist on being able to do a sea trial, and the cost of the sea trial would be payed by me. I would expect to re-negotiate the price of the boat based on the findings of the sea trial. What if the winches don''t work properly? Or the knot / log doesn''t function? Or you find excessive play in the wheel? There are lots and lots of (expensive) things that you won''t find unless you get the boat on the water and moving.

Good luck,
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Old 01-11-2005
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Buying Boat in Winter

We purchased a boat in December of last year up in Traverse City. The agreed on a price based on the "on the hard survey" and held a few thousand in escrow for the engine and electronics test during the sea trial.

It worked well but I wouldn''t do it again. And you really need to be sure that it is the make and model you want. Once you agree on the price, the boat is basically yours. The escrow simply allows you to get money back if some of the equipment doesn''t work as stated.

One other thing... since the boat is frozen, any odors will be masked. We discovered the leaky holding tank when it started to thaw in the spring. Yuk.
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Old 01-18-2005
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Buying Boat in Winter

I"m looking at a sailboat in CT. We''re down to our last offer. BUT, it''s pretty cold these days. What about moisture readings on a hull and deck that are frozen?
No readings will reflect the real situation?
So how to deal with that?

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Old 01-19-2005
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Buying Boat in Winter

Moisture Meters do not directly measure moisture content (MC) or dampness - but show changes in electrical resistance, capacitance, or radio wave reflection/absorption in the tested substrate, depending on the type of electrical moisture meter in use.

As general on site diagnostic tools electrical Moisture Meters are suitable, provided they are used correctly with the necessary skill and expertise, together with a full understanding of their limitations. They are clean and non-destructive and will not effectively damage the property, a factor most important in a pre-purchase survey.

Unfortunately, the majority of surveyors do not appear to understand how an electrical moisture meter should be used, and the manufacturers of the meters do little to educate the user. With most surveyors the meter is simply stuck into (onto) the surface of the hull, the indicator goes into the red and, hey presto, rising dampness! That is certainly not the way to use electrical moisture meter, and using it like this will almost certainly lead to a high number of wrong diagnoses! Similarly, it is not a valid exercise to directly compare readings from one material with that of another in respect of moisture content (MC).

Electric Moisture Meters measure an electrical property of a sample, and convert that measurement to a corresponding moisture content (MC) value, usually read directly on the meter. Depending on the type and manufacturer of the meter, the electrical property measured may be resistance, conductance, dielectric constant, or power-loss factor.

The majority record electrical resistance between two applied electrodes; a few measure capacitance, and more recently some measure the reflection of radio frequency emissions from the meter: moisture, together with one or two other materials, affects these properties. Thus, such meters can reflect the presence (or absence) of moisture and/or other factors which may be present.

The correct method for using an electrical moisture meter is to take a vertical & horizontal SERIES of readings in order to obtain a PATTERN of readings. It is the pattern (distribution) of readings which gives us guidance on the diagnosis. This is where skill and expertise of the surveyor are required in the interpretation of these patterns. The diagnosis is based on the overall distribution of meter readings, and not so much the actual reading itself.

All moisture readings must be corrected for the ambient temperature and relative humidity. An increase in temperature of the test sample will increase the rate of conductivity across a "wheat-stone" bridge, or increase the capacity of a laminate to store an electric charge. The electrical resistance at any given moisture content, increases as the temperature decreases. Portable moisture meters need to be calibrated and interpreted in a consistent manner, to enable comparable results. Meters are usually calibrated for 70-80 degrees F. If the hull is above or below this temperature by 20 degrees F or more, corrections must be made. Correction tables are often available from the meter manufacturer.

Since the more important finding is any potential differing DISTRIBUTION (pattern) of readings, rather than an absolute MC number - a Moisture Reading can still be useful & informative in freezing winter conditions.

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