contract question on a private sale - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 02-21-2006 Thread Starter
khbritten's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
contract question on a private sale

Hi, everyone -

My wife and I are in the midst of buying a boat from a private party in British Coumbia, and the final stages are getting a little... well, interesting. We signed a contract and handed over a 10% deposit, pending acceptable survey. There was a clear contract closing date - one month after the signing. Well, since it took a while to get the surveys, and then the surveys found some rigging work that needed doing, the month has come and gone. The work has been done, but there is some question whether *all* of it has. So, the owner thinks that because the contract closing date has expired, we are in breach of contract and the deposit is forfeit no matter what. We would prefer to think that if the work was not done completely, then the owner is in breach of contract and the deposit should be returned. Surely there is a conventional way of dealing with such events - late work that goes beyond the original contract must happen all the time. Does anyone have any relevant experience or advice for us?


khbritten is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 02-21-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
You failed to tell us if you really want this boat or not? If you do im sure you can work things out without little or no conflict. If you dont than its another story.
MDRSAILMAN is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 5 Old 02-21-2006
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,231
Thanks: 9
Thanked 56 Times in 54 Posts
Rep Power: 15
A well-written contract should clearly specify the rights of each party if the boat does not pass survey. Because you are asking this question, I'm assuming that your contract does not clearly and unequivocally state whether or not the closing deadline is extended until the repairs are completed. If the contract is unclear as to what happens, then a judge might be able to read the contract, and "divine" from it's terms the "manifest intent of the parties."

If you are being represented by a broker in the transaction (not the seller's broker, but your broker), then your broker should take the lead in the negotiations. If not, then you should immediately take your written agreement to an attorney and ask him to negotiate the situation for you. A good lawyer might be able to either salvage the deal or get a partial refund of your deposit, but you need to get him on the job first thing tomorrow.

Good luck!
Sailormon6 is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 5 Old 02-21-2006
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,811
Thanks: 13
Thanked 37 Times in 37 Posts
Rep Power: 17
I think your ommission was in not pressing an addendum extending the closing date, prior to the closing date, with canceling the deal based on the survey as your bat. You choices now somewhat depend on what the contract provides. If you want to complete the deal, you should be able to get to common ground, if you don't want the boat now is a different matter. Your cards may be that if you end up with a dispute about the deposit you should be able to tie the boat up in a suit that would prevent selling it to another party...

Good luck, is greatly assisted by good contracts...
sailingfool is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 5 Old 03-18-2006 Thread Starter
khbritten's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0

Here's the outcome, for those who like happy endings. Sailingfool was right, our whole problem came from ambiguities in the hand-written contract. It got dramatic and expensive, with lawyers on both sides, but in the end we stayed out of court and got the boat for the price we offered, and the work was all done correctly. So, two lessons to learn from our experience - get a strong contract, no matter how much you like and trust the seller. It can't hurt. The other one is less obvious - our sale was saved by our hiring a documentation service (Marine Documentation Service in Anacortes - they are excellent!). For not too much money, they not only got the papers right, but also pointed us to other people to help the sale. These cross-border sales are complex, so don't be too proud to get help. The professional help not only got the paperwork right, but provided us negotiating leverage to make the sale work. And we love our boat!
khbritten is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ladder question mcain Gear & Maintenance 14 08-03-2007 10:28 PM
private boat sales kms Boat Review and Purchase Forum 2 07-09-2005 05:11 PM
Looking for sample contract ragtimewilly Boat Review and Purchase Forum 4 08-28-2002 04:28 PM
Boat purchase wannasail Boat Review and Purchase Forum 2 01-15-2002 03:11 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome