J27, but boat shopping in general...
I've spent the last couple of weeks shopping mostly online of boats of all types, but I've looked at about 3 different boats in person... and I am now remembering the hell I went through when i bought my S2 7.9. I looked at several turds before I found that diamond in the rough.
I'm starting to see a trend. Owners are posting pictures online of their boats, that are from 2-3-4 or more years ago. The one I really loved was the one who posted pictures of someone else's boat entirely.
Boats I looked at: J80, J27, and a Wavelength 24. I've also focused surprisingly a lot on a Starwind 27, and honestly so far that boat has been in the most accurate shape of any, but of course I've not seen it in person (yet).
I'm no boat inspector (and God bless those of you that are), but I have a pretty good idea what I'm looking at, and today I confirmed that my own inspection techniques apparently aren't far off. One of the 2 people who looked at my S2 7.9 before I sold it, showed up with an inexpensive touchless moisture meter, and showed me all the places on my boat that I told him were "moist" on my boat (he did find one I wasn't aware of too). I was so impressed with the tool, that i bought one myself. I had no expectation of using it as anything other than a start of an idea of where there may be a problem.
Today I showed up to look at the J27, and I ran the meter all over the boat. The owner was trying to whip up a ladder to get onto the boat, so it gave me free time to drag my new toy all over the hull bottom. Boat has been out of the water since October, and surprisingly I found only 1 major wet spot, and it was about 12 inches from a through hull (surprisingly not AT the through hull). I also noted the rudder was slightly damp. Using a sounding hammer confirmed to my ear that it truly was a soft spot (wet).
When I manged to get topside, I found wet spots that were really bad by one handrail, and both chainplates. I noted slightly higher moisture by the port stern pulpit, but generally the boat was dry (amazing for an old or even NEW J boat).
What bothers me, is the owner gave me a copy of a 2013 boat survey, and all the places (except by the through hull) I noted were also noted on the survey.. It makes me wonder why people don't address those things they are notified of. it also confirmed that I was testing correctly.
Another boat I looked at the owner lamented the fact that he had put countless hours of work into the boat. As a 1982 24 foot boat, it's resale value was sub $10,000. The boat was listed in at least 3 locations online at $8900. I asked the owner if the boat was the one that was previously owned by the designer, because I wasn't looking at the ad in front of me i asked what he was listing it for... and his price was $12,800! I didn't question the $4000 increase over the phone, but instead figured price was something i should concern myself with after I looked at it in person. After looking at the boat, it had crazing on nearly the ENTIRE hull, I was wondering how he could even ask $3000 for the boat. The boat was "rough" by anyone's defiition, and the "new sails" were actually 3 years old, and not nearly as good of shape as "new" would dictate for a race boat (New to me would be purchased in the last year).
I suppose my question is do people get some kind of warped "persistence of vision" about their boats? Do they not see the degrading condition of their boats over time?
You see, I refuse to believe that everyone is a scummy used car salesman type, but so far my shopping experience with used sailboats has consisted mostly of people distorting, stretching truth, or outright lying about the condition, upgrades, and work they have done on the boats. What I find most unusual is the price they think their lack of maintenance demands. Love these people who claim the prior owners work as their own, but do not do the minimum to maintain the work the prior owner started.
I've personally determined that I won't offer an owner a price on a boat unless I'm willing to pay it on the spot, but so far the last boats i've looked at are worth less than 50% of what they are presently listed as, and that assumes that I'd even be willing to take on the extensive work to get them back into shape.
Am I being to picky here?
So for NOW I've basically taken the tact that if I think your boat price is ridiculous, and I have no intention of actually buying your boat, I will leave without an offer at all rather than potentially insult the owner. I'd feel like I'm telling a parent their kid is ugly if I did.
1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
Last edited by SHNOOL; 01-15-2017 at 10:22 PM.